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Investors determined to stop the Icelandic state from acquiring Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon

By Staff

  • Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon One of the most popular tourist destinations in Iceland the tourism industry at Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon has enormous potential to grow even further. However, the state intends to add the lagoon to Vatnajökulsþjóðgarður National Park. Photo/XXX

A group of investors who bought the farm Fell in Suðursveit are determined to fight the preemption of the purchase by the Icelandic state. The investors bought the farm, which includes the eastern part of the popular tourist destination Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon, at auction in November.

Read more: Icelandic state preempts private investors, buys Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon

On Monday the Icelandic state preempted the purchase of the farm, paying 1,520 million ISK (13.35 million USD/12.65 million EUR) for the land. The land had been up for sale for some time when it was finally sold at auction in November to a company called Fögrusalir, operating on behalf of Thule Investments. The local newspaper Fréttablaðið reports that the investors are determined to have the courts determine if the purchase by the state was in accordance with the law. 

Courts will decide if a deadline had passed
The investors argue that the state made its decision too late: According to law the state has sixty days to step in and preempt purcases of natural monuments. This deadline passed on January 3, sixty days after the auction of the land. The state in turn claims that the date when the actual sale took place should be used: According to this the deadline passed on January 10, the day after the state decided to preempt the purchase.

Conservationists fear hotels
Conservationists greeted the decision by the state to purchase the land, as this would mean tha the entire lagoon would be within Vatnajökull National Park. Conservationists worry that massive investment including hotel construction on the land of Fell would irreparably damage the appearance of the lagoon.

 

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