New Government Leadership, Agreement Announced Skip to content

New Government Leadership, Agreement Announced

By Larissa Kyzer

Bjarni Benediktsson, Katrín Jakobsdóttir, and Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson
Photo: Golli. Bjarni Benediktsson, Katrín Jakobsdóttir, and Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson.

Iceland’s new government leadership was announced at a press conference on Sunday.  Katrín Jakobsdóttir (Left-Green) will remain Prime Minister in a continued coalition government with the Independence Party and the Progressive Party.

The Agreement on the Platform for the Coalition Government is introduced under the name of “growing prosperity”, and lays out a “roadmap for economic and social progress, environmental protection, dynamic value creation, gender equality and a balance between urban and rural settlement and between generations.” The Agreement goes on to state the new government’s goal of creating fertile ground for opportunities, prioritising climate issues, utilising technological change and expertise to increase the quality of life, investing in people, promoting a healthy society, and promoting culture and travel.

The agreement lays out what they see as the main challenges for the coming term, the economy and state finances, climate issues and social affairs.

Bjarni Benediktsson, leader of the Independence Party, will continue as Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs. The Independence Party will have four other MPs in ministry positions: Current Minister of Justice Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir will take over for Þórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörð Gylfadóttir as the Minister of Tourism, Industry and Innovation. Þórdís Kolbrún will step into the role of Foreign Minister, taking over for Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson; Guðlaugur Þór will be the next Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources; Jón Gunnarsson will be the Minister of Justice.

The Progressive Party will have four ministers: Leader of the party Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson, who was previously the Minister of Transport and Local Government, will step into the role of Minister of the Interior; MP Willum Þór Þórsson will take over for Svandís Svavarsdóttir (Left-Green) as the Minister of Health; Lilja Alfreðsdóttir will stay in her current role as the Minister of Education, Science and Culture; Ásmundur Einar Daðason will remain the Minister of Social Affairs and Children.

The Left-Greens will have three ministers: party leader Katrín Jakobsdóttir will continue as Prime Minister; Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson, the former Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources, will be the new Minister of Social Affairs and Housing; Svandís Svavarsdóttir will take over as the Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture.

The party leaders shared their coalition agreement on Saturday, ahead of the cabinet announcements. The government’s emphasis, they say, will be on issues related to climate, employment, schools, and on evaluating the fisheries management system. Among the climate-related priorities will be completing the transition away from fossil fuel usage to electric, the creation of green jobs, and subsidies for electricity in use for vegetable farming.

Additionally, the government intends to lay out a clear and comprehensive policy on immigration issues and to simplify the process for applying for permanent residency.

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