Cemeteries Hitting Financial Troubles - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Cemeteries Hitting Financial Troubles

Published June 3, 2011

Icelandic cemeteries are facing serious financial problems, to where they scarcely have the money to bury people anymore.
Vísir reports that Þórsteinn Ragnarsson, chairman of the Icelandic Cemeteries
Association, held a general meeting in Húsavík last weekend to discuss
the matter.
“I was shocked, as chairman, to hear from everywhere that there is no money to pay priests and grave workers.”
The association was formed in 1995, with the hopes of being able to get
state assistance for the work cemeteries do. This dream came true some
ten years later, but then with the economic crash of 2008, funding has
been drastically cut.
By Þórsteinn’s estimation, the association needs 1.1 billion ISK, but
only has 850 million ISK. He says that trying to get through to
government officials about financial assistance has “been like talking
to a brick wall.”
Iceland buries about 2,000 people every year. Þórsteinn believes the
current situation is very serious. “It is a sad state of affairs that
Icelanders don’t have the money to bury their loved ones anymore.”

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