The 144th legislative parliamentary session at Althingi, the Icelandic parliament, formally began this afternoon with a sermon in Reykjavík Cathedral. President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson gave an opening speech in the parliamentary building, commemorating the founding of the Icelandic republic in 1944.
In his speech, Ólafur said that Iceland had been one of the world’s poorest nations when it claimed independence from Denmark, ruv.is reports. “It is unique that such a small nation would make the decision to be an independent state,” he proclaimed.
Finance Minister Bjarni Benediktsson presented his budget bill in parliament at 4 pm. The bill was the subject of the longest discussion during the parliament’s last session, or a total of 47 hours. Bjarni has spoken about changes to VAT and excise taxes.