Is Jón Gunnarsson Iceland’s Minister of the Interior or Minister of Justice? It has been a difficult question to answer since Iceland’s newest government took power in November. The government has not only shuffled ministry appointments, but changed the number of ministries as well as their names and assignments, since last term. RÚV reports that the minsters’ titles have now been finalised by presidential ruling, and the changes are expected to cost the treasury ISK 1.8 billion [$14.1 million, €12.5 million] this term.
Six ministers have the same titles as those announced last November. Katrín Jakobsdóttir keeps the title of Prime Minister, Bjarni Benediktsson the title of Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, and Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson the title of Minister of Infrastructure. Willum Þór Þórsson remains the Minister of Health, Ásmundur Einar Daðason the Minister of Education and Children, and Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson the Minister of the Environment, Energy, and Climate.
Ruling Changed Titles of Six Ministers
The other six ministers received a new title with the presidential rulings. Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir, originally announced as the Minister of Science, Industry, and Innovation, will now be the Minister of Higher Education, Industry, and Innovation. Svandís Svavarsdóttir will no longer be known as the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, rather the Minister of Food. Þórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörð Gylfadóttir, originally the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development Cooperation, will simply be known as the Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Lilja Alfreðsdóttir’s title will also be shortened from Minister of Tourism, Trade, and Culture, to Minister of Trade and Culture. The same goes for Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson, who will no longer be the Minister of Social Affairs and the Labour Market, rather simply the Social and Labour Market Minister. Jón Gunnarson, who was initially announced as Interior Minister, will be known as the Minister of Justice.
According to a recent response in Parliament, the cost of shuffling the ministries and changing the titles could cost up to ISK 1.8 billion [$14.1 million, €12.5 million] this term.