Views Vary on New Reykjavík City Council

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Prime Minister and leader of the Independence Party Geir H. Haarde announced yesterday that he supports the new majority coalition of Reykjavík City and predicts that it will survive this term. Foreign Minister Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir disagrees.

Gísladóttir, who is the leader of the Social Democrats, said she believes the new Independence Party-Liberal Party coalition majority will not be able to cooperate and will thus split before this term is over in 2010. The minister added she is saddened by the levels people are prepared to drop to in the pursuit of power, mbl.is reports.

Haarde said he had been notified of the Independence Party’s plans to overturn the multi-partisan coalition headed by outgoing Mayor of Reykjavík Dagur B. Eggertsson, and had told the party’s leader in the city, Vilhjálmur Th. Vilhjálmsson, that if he believed this was an auspicious arrangement, then he should proceed.

Haarde denied, however, having anything to do with overturning the Reykjavík City Council majority coalition. The Prime Minister added he trusted the new mayor, Ólafur F. Magnússon of the Liberal Party, to fulfill his role competently and that he was pleased that Magnússon and the Independence Party, in which he used to be member, had settled their disputes.

The government discussed the developments of Reykjavík City Council at a cabinet meeting yesterday. Both Haarde and Gísladóttir stated after the meeting that these developments would not affect their cooperation in government.

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