Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir asked for cooperation from MPs of all parties in her keynote speech at the Althingi parliament yesterday on matters aimed at softening the blow of the collapse of the banking system on the employment market, households and families.
Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir. Photo by Geir Ólafsson.
Sigurdardóttir asked MPs to show the government understanding while promising to cooperate and consult with them on a regular basis. She also asked the nation to show solidarity with the government during its upcoming projects, Fréttabladid reports.
The prime minister promised that her government would reconstruct and stabilize the economy and protect the basic service provided by the country’s welfare system.
Sigurdardóttir also talked of unemployment, reminding attendees that there were people behind the numbers. “It hurts to think that the foolhardy trade undertaken by a few led to the unemployment of more than 13,000 people.”
The prime minister then vowed that her government would fight corruption in society, while emphasizing that such a fight should not turn into a witch hunt.
Sigurdardóttir also asked everyone to keep in mind that her government only has 82 days to execute their plans. “Hopefully this government will be remembered for having been the prelude of new times in Icelandic society where democracy […] means something. It is and should be the government of the people.”
In her speech, former Minister of Education and vice-chairperson of the Independence Party Thorgerdur Katrín Gunnarsdóttir said she worried that the new government would raise taxes.
Now it is time to save, Gunnarsdóttir said, but “the most eager spokespersons for increased government spending” currently have a seat in the cabinet. The Independence Party will not sit by silently and watch while an increased burden is added to households in the country, she added.
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