Published Jul 19, 2010With two weeks left for the Icelandic government to decide whether it will sign a contract allowing Canadian company Magma Energy increased access to Iceland's geothermic energy resources, Björk is leading a protest against the takeover.
At a press conference today (July 19) in Reykjavik, the much-loved Icelandic songstress acted on a proposal submitted a week ago that "aims to initiate an open discussion and encourage reconsideration of this sale, ensuring that the interests of the public are being protected and that clarification is achieved on all aspects of this decisive case concerning the future of Iceland," according to a post on her official website. She also played a few songs.
The proposal, which was signed by Björk, Jon Thorisson (the Icelandic assistant to Eva Joly) and the writer Oddny Eir, sought to block the deal that would allow Vancouver-based Magma not only 98.5 percent ownership of HS Orka (Iceland's biggest energy company), but a whopping 130 years of access to Iceland's geothermal resources. Such a deal, Björk claimed, would render her country "third world slaves."
"Members of parliament! We, Icelanders, ask you for a transparent, open discussion and reconsideration concerning the sale of access to our natural resources," Reuters quotes Björk as saying at the press conference. "Shouldn't the nation be able to decide for itself if it is willing to sell off its natural resources, by means of a law change to enable a national referendum?"
Thermal energy, it's worth noting, is one of Iceland's most valuable resources, and could be the source of income needed to help the country rebound from the 2008 economy crisis.
Alison Thompson, Magma's vice-president for corporate relations, said the takeover would only benefit Iceland. "What we are doing is using the resources and paying royalties to the owners," she stated, claiming that there would not only be no layoffs, but that the deal would help stimulate Iceland's economy.
In related Björk news, the eccentric chanteuse has just released a collaborative EP with the Dirty Projectors titled Mount Wittenberg Orca. Proceeds from the EP will go towards a joint venture with National Geographic that will help create international marine protected areas. A single from the release, "All We Are," can be heard here.
Come October, you'll also be able to hear her on the new Antony and the Johnsons album.
Concerning a new studio album, Björk has declared that her country's best interests come first: "I'm hoping the nation and its government will decide to cancel this deal. Then I can, hopefully, go back to writing music."