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State of Treasury Worse than Expected

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State of Treasury Worse than Expected

Alþingishúsið

Alþingishúsið, the Icelandic parliamentary building. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

Political party leaders now engaged in coalition talks agree that the state of the Icelandic treasury is not as good as had been suggested leading up to the parliamentary election on October 29.

Left-Green Movement Leader Katrín Jakobsdóttir, who heads the coalition talks, first spoke of the state of the treasury on RÚV TV last night. Today, Reform Party Leader Benedikt Jóhannesson agreed with her assessment and told Bylgjan Radio, “Several expenditures were agreed to during the last weeks of the parliamentary session, for which there were no allowances in the state budget. The difference is in the tens of billions[of ISK].” That, he admitted, put tighter limits on what a new government could do.

Bright Future Leader Óttarr Proppé and Pirate MP Smári McCarthy agreed with Benedikt that the state of the treasury is worse than was estimated earlier.

When asked about the progress of coalition talks, the leaders sounded cautiously optimistic, admitting the complexity of bringing together views and approaches from five different parties.

“I’m always optimistic,” Óttarr asserted, and added, “But of course this is rather complicated. There are five parties trying to agree on things.”

Smári commented, “The situation was perhaps not as positive when we entered [the negotiations], partly due to inadequately funded commitments, which emerged late in the last term. So, we’re trying to find solutions, and hopefully, a sufficiently good solution will be found for us to be able to do something positive in the country.”

Party policy groups have completed their work, and today, party leaders have been engaged in negotiations. Pirate MP Birgitta Jónsdóttir told reporters that today’s meetings would likely determine whether a five-party coalition can be formed.

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