Icelandic Minister of Industries and Innovation, Steingrímur J. Sigfússon, told German news publication Spiegel Online that it had been important for Iceland to react quickly to the economic crisis in 2008.
Steingrímur J. Sigfússon. Photo by Páll Kjartansson.
“We are not going to preach to Europe that we have found the cure to all. But it was important that we didn’t wait, but that instead we reacted immediately to the symptoms of the crisis,” he said.
Steingrímur said that Iceland was on the right track, with economic growth of around 2.7 percent this year and forecasts for 3 percent next year, but that there was still work to be done. An increase in taxes to raise revenues as well as savings measures were necessary, he said.
When asked about what advice he would give Greece, he warned of the negative effects of austerity measures. “First security for society. Then the lower and middle income classes must be protected from austerity measures. Their purchasing power must be maintained so that their consumption can contribute to the revitalization of the economy. Internationally that is often overlooked.”
On the topic of the EU, Steingrímur said that he was disappointed that Iceland had yet to hold talks with Brussels on the decisive acquis chapters regarding fisheries and food safety.
Click here to read the interview on Spiegel Online.
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