Yesterday, the Icelandic government agreed on a number of measures to keep Grímsey island settled, Vísir reports. The area will been granted a larger fishing quota from the state, transportation to and from the island will be improved and cost of heating houses there will be reassessed. The island has a population of 90 people.
The government appointed a special task force in August to evaluate the status of Grímsey. That task force concluded that Íslandsbanki bank, the town of Akureyri, the Icelandic Regional Development Institute and the State Treasury needed to find a common solution. The task force suggested measures, which would cost ISK 500 million (USD 3.8 million, EUR 3.5 million) annually.
Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson commented, “I believe that with these measures, which now have been presented, and which, to a great extent, are based on suggestions from the inhabitants, it will be possible to keep supporting continued settlement in this northernmost inhabited part of the country. The uniqueness of the island is indisputable.”
The Akureyri Town Council welcomes the government’s decision to take measures to support continued settlement in Grímsey. Town Council President Guðmundur Baldvin Guðmundsson calls the government’s decision good news. “This,” he says, “is a happy day for us, the residents of Akureyri.”