Staying Alive


Staying Alive

Minister of Industries and Innovation Steingrímur J. Sigfússon talks the government’s achievements and mishaps, his new role in politics and hopes for the future.

Published in the 2013 April-May issue of Iceland Review – IR 02.13. By Eygló Svala Arnarsdóttir. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.


Along with Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, Steingrímur J. Sigfússon carried the Social Democratic Alliance-Left Green Movement coalition through the turbulent term that will come to an end with the general election on April 27. In the course of the more than four-year term he has worn many hats, leading four different ministries.

In a surprise move, Steingrímur announced in mid-February 2013 his resignation as chair of Vinstrihreyfingin - grænt framboð (Left Green Movement; LGM), the party he founded in 1999. Recent surveys have indicated a slump in support for the LGM but Steingrímur doesn’t cite that as a reason for his decision. “It was a question of time and now the time was right, when I found out that my vice-chair was ready to take over.” Minister of Education and Culture Katrín Jakobsdóttir was elected new leader of the LGM at its national convention later that month. “She demonstrates great courage in wanting to lead the party at this difficult time.”

Steingrímur stresses that he is not retiring from politics altogether. He will lead his party in the Northeast constituency and doesn’t rule out taking a seat in the cabinet once more. “It wouldn’t surprise me if the Left-Greens were to prove more successful in the election than indicated in polls. I expect a double-digit outcome. We stepped up when the need was most. We couldn’t think about how that would affect our ratings.”

You can read the remainder of this article in the 2013 April-May issue of Iceland Review – IR 02.13. Five times a year the print edition of Iceland Review & Atlantica brings you a wealth of articles on all aspects of life in Iceland including Páll Stefánsson's latest images of the country’s majestic landscape. Click here to subscribe and here to browse through a selection of pages from the current issue.