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Iceland's Bjork in karaoke marathon against energy takeover

by Staff Writers
Reykjavik (AFP) Jan 6, 2011
Iceland's megastar Bjork launched a three-day karaoke marathon on Thursday with the aim of drawing attention to the protection of natural resources and her bid to stop the takeover of an energy firm, she told reporters.

The singer's karaoke marathon was set to go on from 3:00 pm (1500 GMT) to midnight (0000 GMT) on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Bjork said she hoped the marathon would bring more people to sign a petition calling for a referendum on the ownership of natural resources.

"What we need is a referendum to decide and we need legislation and make sure we all agree how matters should be handled," she told a news conference.

Bjork has since July spearheaded a campaign to prevent the takeover of Icelandic energy group HS Orka from Canada's Magma Energy.

"The fight to keep it in the hands of the Icelandic people is not over," she said of HS Orka on Thursday.

The Canadian company said in May it was going to bring from 43 percent to 98.5 percent its stake in HS Orka -- which produces nine percent of Iceland's electricity -- in what would be the largest foreign investment in Iceland since the country's economy all but collapsed at the end of 2008.

The transaction had received regulatory approval in Iceland but a committee appointed by the government to examine the deal has not yet presented its findings.

"It is not a lost cause," Bjork told AFP Thursday.

The captain of the Icelandic handball team, a 70-year-old environmental campaigner and an Icelandic pop star and gay icon were among those who karaoked on Thursday.

The comedian-turned-mayor of Iceland's capital Reykjavik, Jon Gnarr, also took part in the event with the other half of his former comedy duo.



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