Monkfish Legislation Upsets Icelandic Stability Pact Skip to content

Monkfish Legislation Upsets Icelandic Stability Pact

The Confederation of Icelandic Employers (SA) felt that the government rifted its stability pact with the employment market yesterday when the majority of MPs in the Icelandic parliament, Althingi, passed a legislation on an extended quota for monkfish.

Monkfish. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

The legislation includes a temporary provision which gives the Minister of Fisheries the authority to increase the monkfish quota by 2,000 holds in the next two fishing seasons and allocate additional quota to fishing companies in exchange for a certain fee, Morgunbladid reports.

“The government is banishing us from the stability pact by passing this legislation,” commented SA managing director Vilhjálmur Egilsson.

In October 2009, the government issued a declaration, saying that there had been no changes to “the path of reconciliation on which the reviewing of the fisheries control system is located with the appointment of a committee on behalf of the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture.”

Egilsson said it is clear that the declaration referred to the changes to the monkfish quota, among other items.

“It is preposterous to claim that a few tons of monkfish have anything to do with the stability pact,” commented Minister of Fisheries Jón Bjarnason, adding that the SA must have some hidden agenda.

When asked what implications it will have for the employment market if the stability pact has been rifted, Egilsson said it will influence all relations between SA and the government, for example during the next round of wage contract negotiations at the end of November this year.

During discussions about the monkfish legislation at Althingi Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir said that the government would not let interest associations, “sweep the government’s policies off the table.”

Click here to read more about the stability pact.

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