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Natural resource provision discussed

Leaders of the Independence Party and the Progressive Party, which form the coalition government in Iceland, met yesterday to discuss a controversial natural resource provision.

The Progressive Party would like to add a provision to the constitution which pronounces that natural resources belong to the Icelandic nation. The Independence Party disagrees. Morgunbladid reports.

The meeting was attended by Prime Minister and Independence Party leader, Geir H. Haarde, Minister of Education and vice-chairman of the Independence Party, Thorgerdur Katrín Gunnarsdóttir, Minister of Industry and Trade and Progressive Party leader, Jón Sigurdsson and Minister of Agriculture and vice-chairman of the Progressive Party, Gudni Ágústsson.

The parties did not reach an agreement on the natural resource provision but announced at a press conference yesterday that they had decided to make the issue a priority at the parliamentary congress in spring and vote on whether it should be added to the constitution.

Fréttabladid reported this weekend that former law professor Sigurdur Líndal said it would be meaningless to change the natural resource provision in the constitution, because the nation cannot have proprietary rights of natural resources.

The nation can only have sovereignty rights, Líndal said. The nation uses that right by voting the members of parliament who decide how the natural resources are used.

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