Minister of Finance Steingrímur J. Sigfússon has responded to requests from the Icelandic Automobile Association (FÍB), saying that their wishes are out of touch with reality.
As Grapevine reported, FÍB submitted to the Ministry of the Interior a petition bearing over 41,000 signatures from voting-aged Icelanders opposing the idea of setting up any more toll booths in Iceland. They have also asked that the government lower the price of petrol. At the same time, the group has proposed a number of major changes be made to the country’s roads.
Steingrímur, speaking on the news discussion show Kastljósið, said that he found these demands difficult to understand, and in fact would not work in a practical sense.
The price of petrol in Iceland has risen sharply over the months, prompting much criticism in this country that ranks fifth in the world in terms of car owners per capita.
The finance minister responded to this criticism by saying that Iceland still has the sixth lowest petrol prices in Europe, and the percentage of the price owed to taxes is lower than anywhere else in the world.
This does not, however, rule out taking other measures, he said, such as supporting mass transportation and the development of more environmentally sound means of travel, as well as encouraging the general public to use fuel-efficient cars.