GáF, a company founded by municipalities in North Iceland to buy a piece of land at Grímsstaðir á Fjöllum and lease it to Chinese tycoon Huang Nubo, is ISK 10 million (USD 83,000, EUR 66,000) in debt. Representatives of some of the municipalities involved are reconsidering their position.
Oddur Helgi Halldórsson, board member of GáF, told Fréttablaðið that the company has no operations and that members of the board don’t get paid. The debts exist because of previous engagements.
Kristján Þór Magnússon, director of Norðurþing, believes the municipality should consider leaving GáF. “We must answer the question whether municipalities should take part in buying lands and leasing them. The new board will look into it when it takes over.”
Logi Einarsson, who chairs the Social Democratic Alliance in Akureyri, agrees. “I believe that Akureyri should seriously reconsider its position in this instance.”
Huang initially wanted to buy a large piece of land from private owners at Grímsstaðir á Fjöllum, build a hotel and develop tourism services there. However, an exemption from the Icelandic law on land ownership was necessary in order for the deal to go through.
When Huang’s application for an exemption was rejected, municipalities in North Iceland stepped in, hoping to maintain his interest in the investment.