With Pirates at the helm, informal five-party center-left coalition talks in Iceland will begin today. Aside from the Pirate Party, those participating in the talks are the Left-Green Movement, The Reform Party, Bright Future and the Social Democratic Alliance. Efforts to form a government have proven unsuccessful since the October 29 parliamentary election.
Pirate Captain Birgitta Jónsdóttir, who was given the mandate to form a government on Friday after the leaders of two other parties had failed to complete that task, told RÚV that the toughest issues will be addressed first. She reported that the weekend was used to review the state budget, and added that solutions regarding fisheries, agriculture and the financing of increased state spending had not been sufficiently talked through in previous five-party negotiations.
She was asked how the Pirates’ approach would differ from that of Left-Green Movement Leader Katrín Jakobsdóttir, who failed in her attempt to form a government of the same five parties, to which she answered, “We are approaching this from the center and pulling together right and left.”
The negotiations, Birgitta stressed, will be built on what has already been discussed, “and we’ll address this work based on the premise that all at the table are equals.”
Addressing the most difficult issues first is important, Birgitta stated, “so it will be clear right away whether or not we can reach an agreement.” The job would have to be well done to establish trust between the negotiating parties, so the government can survive for the rest of the term.
According to Vísir, Independence Party Leader Bjarni Benediktsson told reports this morning that he had sent the Reform Party a message, indicating his willingness to give coalition talks between his party, the Reform Party and Bright Future another try.