Greece–Iceland relations

Greek-Icelandic relations



Greek–Icelandic relations are foreign, economic and cultural relations between Greece and Iceland. Greece is represented in Iceland through its embassy in Oslo (Norway) and through an honorary consulate in Reykjavík. Iceland is represented in Greece through its embassy in Oslo (Norway) and through an honorary consulate in Athens. They have been firm allies for over 60 years, and have reaffirmed their ties recently at the highest levels of contacts.

Historical context

Both nations are full members of the OECD, as they have been since 1961.[1][2]

Recent ties

The President of Iceland, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, visited Athens in September 2001, where he met with President Kostis Stephanopoulos.[3] In a return visit, the President of Greece, Karolos Papoulias came to Iceland in early July 2006 and met with the President of Iceland, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson. Among other subjects, they discussed strengthening the relations between Greece and Iceland, particularly in sectors such as telecommunications, pharmaceutical and banking, in addition to natural fishery products imported from Iceland to Greece.[4] Karolos Papoulias also met in Reykjavík with the Prime Minister of Iceland Geir Haarde and discussed subjects such as joint cooperation in the economic sector in the Balkans. During this trip the Foreign Minister of Greece Theodoros Kassimis and the Foreign Minister of Iceland Valgerður Sverrisdóttir signed an agreement on the Avoidance of Double Taxation.[5]

On August 28, 2007, Greece and Iceland reaffirmed their long-standing ties at an official meeting between Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and Icelandic Prime Minister Geir Haarde, "who was on a working visit to Greece."[6] Karamanlis was reported to have said:

relations between the two countries were exceptional, while their cooperation was excellent at both bilateral level and in international organisations, but added that many opportunities for furthering cooperation existed in the economy, in investments and in the tourism sector.[6]

The Greek prime minister is also interested in Iceland's "many energy reserves".[6] He also specifically thanked "Haarde for Iceland’s backing of Greece on the Macedonia naming dispute."[6][7]

Trade and investment

In 2008, Iceland directly exported good worth ISK 288.7 million to Greece and imported goods worth ISK 271.6 million, or about US$3.5 million in both directions at mid-2008 rates.[8]

In 2005, Thor Bjorgolfsson was involved in a controversial attempt to purchase 16% of the shares of Forthnet, a Greek company involved in the Telecommunications and Internet sectors.[9]

See also


  1. Sally Jacobsen, "OECD Predicts 4% U.S. Economic Growth; Forecasters Also Expect Germany to Recover Strongly This Year," The Washington Post, June 7, 1994, page d.03, found at Washington Post archives. Accessed April 22, 2009.
  2. Joel Haveman and Norman Kempster, "World View The Case of the Diasppearing Worker: What's Gone Wrong? National economies are growing, yet unemployment is on the rise. Some blame technology; others cite high wages and social programs," Los Angeles Times, July 6, 1993, found at LA Times archives. Accessed April 22, 2009.
  3. "Address by the President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson" (PDF). Forseti Íslands 2007. Retrieved 2009-04-28.
  4. Επίσημη επίσκεψη Κ. Παπούλια στην Ισλανδία (in Greek). Athens News Agency. Retrieved 2009-04-28.
  5. "Agreement on Greece - Iceland to avoid double taxation". naftemporiki. 2006-07-07. Retrieved 2009-04-28.
  6. 1 2 3 4 "Greece, Iceland reaffirm ties". New Europe. 1 September 2008. Retrieved 2009-06-15.
  8. "External trade". Statistics Iceland. Retrieved 2009-04-28.
  9. "Greece: Iceland's Tycoon behind 16% purchase in Forthnet". Premium S.A. Greece. 2005-09-15. Retrieved 2009-04-28.

External links

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