New Government Agreement for Iceland Announced

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New Government Agreement for Iceland Announced

The coalition parties, the Social Democratic Alliance and the Left-Green Movement, announced a new government agreement for Iceland approximately one hour ago, which includes deciding the matter European Union membership by national referendum.

Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir, the leader of the new government. Photo by Geir Ólafsson.

The nation will vote on whether or not to join the EU with one referendum, and not two as some had suggested, and only after membership discussions have taken place. The Minister for Foreign Affairs will submit a parliamentary resolution on membership discussions this spring, mbl.is reports.

Chairman of the Left-Greens Steingrímur J. Sigfússon said it had proven difficult for many of his party members to approve this item of the government agreement.

Sigfússon emphasized that the Left-Greens have not changed their view of EU membership—the party is openly against it—and that its members will follow their conviction when the resolution is presented to parliament.

The government agreement states that each coalition party has the right to retain their views during discussions surrounding the EU debate, within and outside parliament.

The agreement further states that the new government’s primary objective is to secure economic and social stability and to achieve national solidarity on Iceland’s reconstruction.

The new government is based on the successful cooperation of the interim government, which, after only 80 days at the helm, laid the groundwork for making headway in most areas of society in spite of extremely difficult circumstances in the local and global economy, the agreement concludes.

It comes with a 100-day action plan on how the items mentioned in the agreement are to be executed. It was approved unanimously at a Social Democrat party board meeting today and by all votes except two at the Left-Green party board meeting.

Stay tuned for more news about the new government tomorrow.

Click here to read more about the government talks, which have now been concluded.