Leaders of the two largest political parties in Iceland, Bjarni Benediktsson of the Independence Party and Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson of the Progressive Party, started their formal coalition talks yesterday.Alþingi parliament. Photo copyright Icelandic Photo Agency.
The two party leaders were spotted shopping for groceries in Krónan supermarket yesterday morning before they headed out to an undisclosed destination in the countryside to discuss politics in peace.
In the late afternoon, Bjarni and his assistant Svanhildur Hólm made waffles for the negotiating team, ruv.is reports.
Jóhannes Þór Skúlason, Sigmundur’s assistant, told RÚV that the meeting had been successful and that various issues had been discussed.
One of the issues on which the parties disagree is the Progressive Party’s proposal to make an agreement with the claimants of the banks and use the funds that would become available with such an agreement to write off parts of mortgages for all homeowners.
Bjarni said on Rás 2 radio station this morning that he doesn’t expect the talks to take a long time. They will continue today.