Icelandic Economics Minister at Meeting in Brussels Skip to content

Icelandic Economics Minister at Meeting in Brussels

By Iceland Review

arnipallarnason-radhIcelandic Minister for Economic Affairs Árni Páll Árnason (pictured) and European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Olli Rehn met in Brussels yesterday to discuss the position of the Icelandic economy and plans for lifting currency restrictions with technical assistance and support from the European Union.

After the meeting, Árnason and Rehn held a joint press conference where Rehn emphasized that there is no way for Iceland to adopt the euro without joining the EU first and fulfilling the conditions required. “There is no shortcut,” Rehn stressed, according to Fréttabladid.

Rehn also discussed Iceland’s economic progress. “The Icelandic government has achieved economic stability, among other accomplishments, by establishing currency restrictions. Free flow of funds is an important condition for admission to the EU and therefore the restrictions must be lifted,” he explained.

Árnason welcomed Rehn’s offer in assisting Icelandic authorities in lifting the currency restrictions and underlined the importance of doing so carefully so that the Icelandic króna’s stability isn’t jeopardized.

At the meeting, the Ministry for Economic Affairs handed in the first Pre-Accession Economic Program to the EU Commission. The report sets out Iceland’s main economic priorities until 2013.

The report is based on four main chapters. The first chapter sets out the main policy priorities. The second chapter explains the macroeconomic outlook underlying economic policy. The third chapter deals with government finances, a press release states.

The third chapter reflects the government’s commitment to a primary surplus in 2011 and an overall surplus by 2013, as is presented in the government’s medium-term fiscal program.

The fourth chapter is on newly adopted and foreseen structural changes, with a special emphasis on private sector debt restructuring and strengthening of the financial sector.

Click here to read more about Iceland and the EU and here to watch Árnason and Rehn’s press conference.

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