Government Builds Bridge to East Iceland Skip to content

Government Builds Bridge to East Iceland

A new institution, Austurbrú (“Eastern Bridge”), which will serve employment, development, educational, travel and cultural issues, was established by the government in east Iceland yesterday.

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From Reyðarfjörður. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

At the inaugural meeting in Reyðarfjörður Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir said that the institution could become a model for similar institutions in other regions, ruv.is reports.

Whereas different institutions served the aforementioned purposes before, Austurbrú will unite varied projects and serve as a platform of cooperation for municipalities in east Iceland.

In her address, Jóhanna stated that the new institution would result in rationalization, efficiency and ease the relations between the state and municipalities in the region.

“Austurbrú will become an important link in simpler and more efficient relations between the state and municipalities. It is my hope and belief that it can also serve as a role model to other regions,” the PM said.

The institution will have more than 20 employees and work centers in seven locations, ruv.is reports.

At a press conference held after a cabinet meeting in Egilsstaðir yesterday morning, the government announced a contribution of more than ISK 1 billion (USD 8.0 million, EUR 6.1 million) to new projects in east Iceland.

These are the construction of a nursing home in Fljótsdalshérað, a geology center in Breiðdalsvík and research, development, innovation and marketing of products made from aluminum and seafood in east Iceland.

“The state’s entire funding arrangement towards municipalities as well as growth and cultural agreements with employment development associations and various state-run services in different regions will be placed under one mechanism which is directly related to development plans in each region and their prioritization to that regard,” Jóhanna added.

The government’s next task is to relocate the affairs of the elderly and parts of the healthcare service from the state to municipalities, Jóhanna added, saying she hoped that it could be achieved by the end of this term, or in one year’s time.

The government has on earlier occasions held cabinet meetings in Akureyri in the north, Reykjanesbær in the southwest and Ísafjörður in the West Fjords to boost the local economies.

ESA

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