The ongoing eruption in Holuhraun has had a widespread effect, even influencing Prime Minister of Iceland Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson’s keynote speech at Alþingi, the Icelandic parliament, which reconvened on Tuesday. The PM also discussed food production, mortgage relief and economic actions.
“Iceland’s nature constantly reminds us how demanding it is to live in a country of fire and ice. The power struggle now taking place under the earth’s surface, breaking through in the highlands, is fascinating and terrifying at the same time,” Sigmundur said in the opening of his keynote speech.
Sigmundur praised the work of scientists and civil protection officials, watching over the public’s safety, then moving on to Iceland’s natural resources and purity, mentioning the potential in food production.
The PM stated that Iceland usually scores high in rankings of safety, peace and gender equality, stressing that Icelanders are lucky to enjoy such good living conditions. Therefore, it is a shame how often discussions are dominated by the negative aspects of life, he opined.
The keynote speech also featured the government’s achievements in the past year, including the PM’s Progressive Party’s biggest campaign promise of mortgage relief. Sigmundur stated it is pleasing how many homeowners applied for the program.
The PM was also pleased with the government’s actions to improve the country’s economic situation, declaring them to have been successful. He finds the future outlook to be promising.
Minister of Finance Bjarni Benediktsson presented the government’s budget bill on Tuesday, which has since been a subject of heated debates in parliament and in the media.