Environment Minister Criticizes Magma Deal Skip to content

Environment Minister Criticizes Magma Deal

Minister for the Environment Svandís Svavarsdóttir (left) claimed in an interview on RÚV on Saturday that the Ministry of Industry had provided Canadian company Magma Energy with consultancy on how to elude Icelandic laws to acquire a majority stake in the Icelandic energy company HS.

Minister of Industry Katrín Júlíusdóttir (right) told visir.is that she is surprised by these accusations. She said she had looked into these matters on Saturday and Sunday and found no indications that her ministry had any part in advising Magma to that regard or been a participant in the company’s decision-making.

“The Ministry of Industry does not have the resources to provide legal consultancy to a company like Magma,” Júlíusdóttir said, adding that her fellow minister should have looked into the matter in more detail before making such a declaration.

Júlíusdóttir stated that her ministry does not guide anyone towards how to elude the law. “However, hundreds of people come to us and tell us of their plans for establishing companies and other plans,” she said, explaining that her ministry only provides information on laws that must be taken into consideration.

The minister said she knew of one meeting with Magma Energy’s representatives that took place in the Ministry of Industry, on April 30, 2009, before she became minister. At that meeting Magma received information on what legislations had to be taken into consideration when launching operations in Iceland.

Júlíusdóttir added that Magma must have access to lawyers who can inform the company’s executives on the Icelandic legal system and that it was hardly planning to rely on the Ministry of Industry in that regard.

Svavarsdóttir said she wants to investigate the events leading up to Magma’s acquisition of HS Energy but Júlíusdóttir said she doesn’t know what there is to investigate.

Municipalities sold their company to private parties, who sold the company to other private parties, Júlíusdóttir said of the acquisition process. “That has always been clear so there is nothing new on that front,” the minister concluded.

Click here to read more about the debate surrounding Magma Energy’s acquisition of HS.

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