A Shaky Coalition. Changes in Government Expected Skip to content

A Shaky Coalition. Changes in Government Expected

It is widely expected that two cabinet ministers, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Jón Bjarnason and Minister of Economics and Commerce Árni Páll Árnason, will be booted out of government tomorrow, December 31.

The Final Days? Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Jón Bjarnason

Jón has long been unpopular with both the general public and certain elements of the ruling parties. His proposals for new legislation on fisheries fell flat in Althingi, Iceland’s Parliament, last summer, and he took his cabinet colleagues by surprise when he came up with a new proposal on the matter without consulting other members of government. Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir openly expressed her anger and it was decided by the whole cabinet that Jón no longer had the authority to put forward new legislation on the fisheries resource, a most unusual snub for a minister.

The expected departure of Árni Páll is largely looked upon as a quid pro quo to even out the effect of Jón being sacked. Most likely the Minister of Finance, Steingrímur J. Sigfússon, will take over the duties of the Ministry of Economics. Minister of Industry Katrín Júlíusdóttir is expected to take over the Ministry of

Agriculture and Fisheries. But as Katrín will soon go on maternity leave many expect Árni Páll to return to power to step in as acting minister for Katrín.

It should be kept in mind that Jón is part of the “unruly” wing of the Left Green Party. Other members of that faction include Minister of Interior Ögmundur Jónasson and MP Gudfrídur Lilja Grétarsdóttir. Should all three decide to turn against the government it will lose its majority. It now holds a shaky 33-30 edge over the opposition, so it can only afford to lose one supporter.


Sign up for our weekly newsletter

Get news from Iceland, photos, and in-depth stories delivered to your inbox every week!

* indicates required

Subscribe to Iceland Review

In-depth stories and high-quality photography showcasing life in Iceland!

Share article


Recommended Posts