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Öland 'part of the mainland': EU

Öland 'part of the mainland': EU

Published: 11 Sep 2011 18:08 GMT+02:00
Updated: 11 Sep 2011 18:08 GMT+02:00

The Baltic island of Öland isn't an island after all, ruled the European Union, thereby depriving Öland of subsidies granted to other islands. The reason for this surprising ruling: the Öland Bridge.

Because of the bridge, Öland may have missed out on grants worth between 25 and 50 million kronor ($4-8 million). According to EU's definition, the bridge makes Öland part of the mainland.

EU's definition of what makes an island generally coincides with common perception: a land mass surrounded by water.

However, if there is a bridge or tunnel to the island it is counted as part of the mainland. The underlying reason is support for rural areas.

As Öland is connected to the mainland, the island is part of the same labour market region as Kalmar, in southern Sweden, which means that the island's gross regional product is relatively high.

Therefore the island isn't considered in need of these grants.

However, the proximity to Kalmar varies greatly, depending on which end of the oblong island you're starting from. The bridge connecting the island to the mainland is in the south.

"For northern Öland, the bridge isn't any help. That's a rural area and would be greatly helped by a grant," said Lisbeth Lennartsson, Borgholm municipal board's chairwoman and Öland's municipal authority's vice chairwoman, to news agency TT.

The subsidies Öland will now not receive were meant to be used to strengthen the island's infrastructure.

TT/The Local/cg (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

20:09 September 11, 2011 by Gamla Hälsingebock
If they closed the bridge 12 hours a day...could they get half of the subsidies?
20:17 September 11, 2011 by summo
the grants are for remote or isolated places. It hardly qualifies. So whilst the wording may not be correct, it seems fair that they get less cash, there are plenty of other places far more remote than most islands, which are still part of the mainland that could benefit from the money.

I bet in all the tourist literature the island pushes out it doesn't say "underdeveloped remote back water, hard to reach with poor communications of all types", because it isn't and hasn't been. You can't have your cake and eat it Öland
20:45 September 11, 2011 by wxman
The all-powerful EU changes the laws of physical geography! Is there no end to their arrogant elitism? I think not.
21:33 September 11, 2011 by summo
wxman, I see you've read the article properly then.
22:08 September 11, 2011 by riose
Gamla Stan did not get it neither.
22:42 September 11, 2011 by nibbler
"if there is a bridge or tunnel to the island it is counted as part of the mainland. The underlying reason is support for rural areas"

By this logic, does this not now mean England, Scotland and Wales are part of mainland Europe because of the Eurostar Tunnel?
22:42 September 11, 2011 by Svensksmith
Blow up the bridge. I have always thought Öland would be better off without it.
00:48 September 12, 2011 by johnoleson
The problem with entitlements (and yes island grants are entitlements) is when they are denied, the non recipients feel deprived. It comes down to this: money for entitlements was earned by one person, confiscated by government through taxation, and given to another who did not earn it. What can this be called other than theft? No wonder it is ripe with disharmony.
03:49 September 12, 2011 by Gamla Hälsingebock
@riose

If you meant me, my reply would be:

I am surprised that anyone took that post seriously! LOL

Smiles,

GH
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