Fate of Iceland’s Government in the Hands of One Minister Skip to content

Fate of Iceland’s Government in the Hands of One Minister

By Iceland Review

If Minister of Health Ögmundur Jónasson of the Left-Green Movement remains opposed to the Icesave agreement, the coalition between the Left-Greens and the Social Democrats might come to an abrupt end. MPs from both parties agree to that.

However, the minister himself does not believe his attitude towards Icesave jeopardizes the existence of the Social Democrat-Left-Green coalition, Fréttabladid reports.

According to Jónasson, if the government’s Icesave proposition is rejected by parliament, the government is given another chance to work on the matter and can continue with other important projects.

Jónasson considers the draft presented by the majority of MPs in the Althingi parliament’s Economic and Tax Committee on disclaimers in the Icesave agreement insufficient.

The minister has proposed his own ideas on changes to the Icesave agreement but the other members of the cabinet are afraid they will lead to a new agreement altogether.

Two other Left-Green MPs have declared their opposition to the Icesave agreement, Gudfrídur Lilja Grétarsdóttir and Lilja Mósesdóttir.

The government has a majority of five MPs in parliament so even if all MPs of the opposition parties and two MPs of the government parties vote against the proposition, it will be passed.

However, if all three Left-Green MPs who are currently against the agreement decide to vote against it, it will be rejected by parliament.

According to Fréttabladid’s sources, the situation is causing tremors within the Left-Green Movement and the relationship between Jónasson and the party’s chairman, Minister of Finance Steingrímur J. Sigfússon, is said to be strained.

A meeting was allegedly held last week so that Jónasson and Sigfússon could reconcile, but proved unsuccessful.

Sigfússon has invested considerable effort in convincing MPs of the importance of approving the Icesave agreement and will allegedly feel betrayed if Jónasson votes against it.

Sigfússon considers it an absolute necessity to accept the agreement if Iceland’s economy is to be saved.

MPs of the Social Democrats say there is not much they can do about the situation and that the Left-Greens must solve their problems themselves.

The Economic and Tax Committee will continue to discuss the government’s Icesave proposition today and aims to finish handling the matter tomorrow or on Thursday.

Click here to read more about Icesave.

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