Miroslaw Luczynski, advisor at Ahús – Intercultural Center in Reykjavík, said many of his countrymen, Polish residents in Iceland, have savings rather than debts and want to stay and help reconstruct Iceland’s economy.
The Directorate of Labor estimates that there are around 13,000 foreign citizens on the Icelandic labor market and that their number will drop to 10,000 by the end of this year. This time last year, there were around 17,500 foreign laborers working in Iceland, Fréttabladid reports.
Luczynski said that the number of Polish citizens living in Iceland has possibly dropped by 2,500 or 3,000 in the past two months. “But then there is a large group that has become rooted here and they are not leaving.”
“Many of these people are not indebted but have instead saved money and are therefore better prepared [to tackle the crisis] than many others and want to help build a new Iceland, for example by founding small companies and providing employment that way,” Luczynski described.
“It is just like this, if you walk the same street often it becomes your street and if you watch Esja often it becomes your Esja [Reykjavík’s trademark mountain],” Luczynski added in explanation to why many of his countrymen would like to stay in Iceland.
Ahús and the Human Rights Office of Reykjavík City held a symposium last week on employment issues for foreigners in Iceland.
Yesterday, Icelandic residents of Polish origin celebrated the 90th anniversary of Poland’s independence at the residence of the Polish Consul to Iceland on Skúlagata in Reykjavík.