Independents Snub Meeting with Iceland’s PM Skip to content

Independents Snub Meeting with Iceland’s PM

By Iceland Review

Representatives of the Independence Party, the largest opposition party in Iceland, are not going to attend a meeting with the government today to discuss the debt problems of households.

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Five of the government’s ministers. Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir is to the far right. Photo by Páll Kjartansson.

According to visir.is, the opposition also didn’t attend a meeting with five cabinet ministers yesterday at the government’s invitation. Vice-chair of the Independence Party Ólöf Nordal stated that no invitation had been received.

Independents chair Bjarni Benediktsson, who was abroad yesterday, said his party will not cooperate with a government that is on the wrong track, ruv.is reports.

In a statement he explains that the government doesn’t cooperate with other parties unless it has encountered difficulties, at which point it requests that the opposition comes to its rescue.

Benediktsson states that the country needs a new government and not cooperation between parties on problems that the government is incapable of solving by itself.

Representatives of the other opposition parties, the Progressive Party and The Movement will attend the meeting, although they have expressed their doubts regarding its usefulness.

Although the opposition didn’t discuss housing problems with the government yesterday, representatives of the Interest Association of Households attended a meeting to that effect with Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir, Minister of Finance Steingrímur J. Sigfússon, Minister of Social Affairs Gudbjartur Hannesson and Minister of Economic Affairs Árni Páll Árnason.

Marinó G. Njálsson, a board member of the association, told visir.is that he was optimistic after the meeting and that further meetings are scheduled next week.

“Our ideas were heard. It is a question of implementation. We have to get banks and pension funds to the table,” Njálsson said, adding that the government seems keen on finding a solution. “Whether it is exactly what we are talking about remains to be seen.”

“We want, first and foremost, that the load that was wrongly placed on people will be taken back. Considering indexed-loans, we believe that approximately 18 percent was wrongly added to the principle of loans and we want it to be taken back,” Njálsson explained.

Click here to read more about the housing problem and the government’s reactions to it.

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