The leadership of the Icelandic Confederation of Labor (ASÍ) met with the leaders of the two parties in Iceland’s coalition government yesterday to review the economic situation in Iceland and the development since the new wage contracts were signed.
“It was a very positive meeting,” Prime Minister and leader of the Independence Party Geir H. Haarde told Fréttabladid, adding that ASÍ has good understanding of the situation. “Extensive and unexpected changes have occurred since the wage contracts were made [in February].”
Foreign Minister Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir, leader of the Social Democrats, agreed that the meeting had been successful. “We discussed among other things that it is necessary to hold a broader consultative meeting soon because of the current situation.”
President of ASÍ Grétar Thorsteinsson said other groups that the government plans to consult with in another meeting include the Confederation of Icelandic Employers (SA) and the local authorities. “Then we will perhaps know which course the issue will take.”
Thorsteinsson added that “during this murky economic situation people had agreed to stick closely together.”
Thorsteinsson pointed out that neither the government nor ASÍ had any magical solution to the economic problem Iceland is facing. “But based on experience we believe in such consultation. The last time Iceland was challenged by a similar situation in 2001-2002 it delivered good results, not to mention the thjódarsátt [national reconciliation] of 1990.”
Click here to read more about the current economic situation in Iceland.