Minister of Finance Steingrímur J. Sigfússon said at the Icelandic parliament Alþingi* yesterday that financial affairs should be governed by one ministry, insinuating that the Ministries of Finance and Economic Affairs will be merged.
Steingrímur J. Sigfússon. Photo by Páll Kjartansson.
“Regardless of how it will be placed within the future administration the control of financial affairs should be unified in one place,” Steingrímur said, according to Morgunblaðið.*
Steingrímur elaborated that one of the things that had gone wrong in the lead-up to the banking collapse in 2008 was that financial affairs had been the responsibility of three ministries: the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Economic Affairs.
Reshuffling of the cabinet’s ministers is said to be coming up whereas Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture Jón Bjarnason is considered likely to step down.
Also, it has been pointed out that Minister of Industry Katrín Júlíusdóttir will go on maternity leave early next year.
The government has been unwilling to confirm any changes but Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir has stated that it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Social Democrat-Left-Green coalition are planning to further reduce the number of ministries as it had been part of their government agreement to reduce them from 12 to nine.
Some ministries have already been merged: the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Transport have become the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Social Affairs are now the Ministry of Welfare.
Click here to read more about the controversy surrounding Jón Bjarnason and about potential changes in Iceland’s cabinet.
* The Icelandic letter þ is pronounced like th in thunder.
The Icelandic letter ð is pronounced like th in that.