Members of the Social Democrats, who are part of Iceland’s coalition government, met on Tuesday to discuss their views on aluminum smelters. It turned out that only a minority of attendees supported the party’s policy on putting smelter projects on hold.
Minister of the Environment Thórunn Sveinbjarnardóttir assembled her fellow Social Democrats in light of other ministers’ declarations of support for two new aluminum smelters in south and north Iceland, Fréttabladid reports.
Those who support the party’s policy “Fagra Ísland” (“Fair Iceland”), on delaying all heavy industry projects for a few years until their impact on Iceland’s environment has been thoroughly assessed, were angered when Minister of Commerce Björgvin G. Sigurdsson, who is a member of the Social Democrats, broke ground for an aluminum smelter in Helguvík on Reykjanes peninsula in southwest Iceland.
They say his actions were in breach with what the Social Democrats had promised before the elections in May 2007 and that they were harming the party’s image. The Social Democrats have suffered harsh criticism because of the smelter situation.
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