Thirty members left Iceland’s largest opposition party, the Independence Party, yesterday because of its position in the Icesave dispute, as confirmed by the party’s director of communications, Sigrídur Thorsteinsdóttir.
The Althingi parliament’s Budget Committee issued an evaluation in favor of passing the new Icesave legislation on Wednesday and the party’s chairman, Bjarni Benediktsson, publicly announced his support for the decision. He has been harshly criticized.
Kristján Thór Júlíusson, one of the three Independents who have a seat on the Budget Committee, told visir.is that the anger of his fellow party members has not gone unnoticed and that it is understandable.
“However, I haven’t heard the arguments of anyone who has left the party. It is a choice each member has made,” Júlíusson added.
When asked about his position on the Icesave dispute, the MP replied. “I choose not to answer that question. However, I stand by this evaluation and I’d like to highlight that in this matter, which we have discussed for two years, such a suggestion is not made until after talking it through with the parliamentary group.”
Júlíusson stressed that “the suggestion is in the authority of the parliamentary group.”
The second round of discussions on Icesave was completed at Althingi yesterday. Finance Minister Steingrímur J. Sigfússon’s Icesave bill was sent to the third and final round of discussions with a voting where 40 MPs voted in favor of it and 11 against, Fréttabladid reports.
Click here to read more about Icesave.