Nationalist 'Freedom Party' Announces Candidacy For Reykjavik Elections

Neo-Nationalist ‘Freedom Party’ Announces Candidacy For Reykjavik Elections

Published April 24, 2018

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Art Bicnick

Political party Frelsisflokkurinn, or Freedom Party, has just announced their first-ever candidature for municipal elections in Reykjavík next May, Visir reports.

During a gathering in front of Reykjavík City Hall, leader of the party Gunnlaugur Ingvarsson introduced the media to his party’s nationalist political platform. Armed with megaphones and flags, the party members stood behind their logo plastered on a box of Lay’s crisps and spoke harshly against internationalisation and multiculturalism, as well as the construction of a mosque in Reykjavík. The party, however, does not want to be seen as prejudiced or xenophobic.

“We are proud to be Icelandic but we have nothing against foreigners—nothing,” Gunnlaugur explained to RÚV. “People must be equal here and must adjust to Icelandic society. We want to avoid ghettos and people who don’t want to adapt to society.”

We recently reported that the number of asylum seekers who receive help from the national government or municipalities has decreased by almost one third since 2016, from 820 to 559 for the entire island. The numbers include individuals who are waiting for their applications to be processed and receive an allowance of 8,000 ISK a week (80 USD). According to Gunnlaugur, however, the immigrant and asylum seekers situation in Iceland is out of control.

Gunnlaugur also opposed municipal projects aimed at refugees. “We want the city of Reykjavík to terminate their contract with The Directorate of Immigration to provide housing for asylum seekers,” he added. “Especially when we already have issues finding housing for our own people.”

Instead, to counteract the lack of apartments in town, Frelsisflokkurinn wants to build 3000 apartments for young people, including in the furthest suburbs of Reykjavík like Kjalarnes, Úlfarsárdalur and the island of Viðey.

At the same time, however, the party is also against the construction of a public transit system that would cover the entire capital area while being completely independent from existing traffic. To solve the problem of traffic-saturated roads in town, instead, the party insists on enlarging the main existing roads in order to facilitate transports of private cars.

“We think it won’t be long before a technological revolution with self-driving cars, so these heavy transport trains will become obsolete in a place like Reykjavík,” Gunnlaugur explains. “The waves of freedom are breaking into Europe, they just have yet to come here but we’ll help with that.”

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