Coalition talks have broken down between the Independence Party, the Reform Party and Bright Future, Kjarninn reports. The talks formally began on Friday, last week, led by Independence Party leader Bjarni Benediktsson, who received the mandate to form a government from Icelandic President Guðni Th. Jóhannessson following the October 29 parliamentary election.
The reason talks broke down is reportedly disagreement on issues related to fisheries.
It is likely that Bjarni will now return his mandate to the president and that it will next be given to Katrín Jakobsdóttir, leader of the Left-Green Movement. She had indicated earlier that her first choice would be to form a left-center coalition.
Kjarninn reports that negotiations regarding agricultural issues went well over the weekend. Policy regarding the European Union was to be discussed last, but today was reserved for discussion on solutions of matters related to the fishing industry. The difference in opinion was substantial. The Reform Party and Bright Future wanted parts of fishing quotas to be revoked and auctioned off in order to promote more equality within the industry and more public income from the use of this natural resource. The Independence Party opposed such changes, which caused negotiations to fail.
Logi Már Einarsson, head of the Social Democratic Alliance, and Smári McCarthy, MP for the Pirate Party, both told RÚV they thought the next reasonable step would be for the president to give Katrín Jakobsdóttir the mandate to form a government.