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Government’s Agenda Introduced

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Government’s Agenda Introduced

Coalition government.

From today's press conference. From left: Óttarr Proppé, Bjarni Benediktsson and Benedikt Jóhannesson. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

The agenda of the new Icelandic government was signed at Gerðarsafn museum in Kópavogur, near Reykjavík, at 2:30 this afternoon. At a press conference that followed, the agenda was presented by leaders of the three coalition parties, the Independence Party, the Reform Party and Bright Future.

Six of the ten ministries will be allocated to the Independence Party, according to RÚV, three to the Reform Party and two to Bright Future.

Independence Party Leader Bjarni Benediktsson will serve as prime minister.

Other ministries allocated to the Independence Parties are the following:

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of the Interior (which will be divided in two, one of which is the Ministry of Justice), the Ministry of Tourism, Industries and Innovation, and the Ministry of Education.

Ministries allocated to the Reform Party will be the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Housing.

Ministries allocated to Bright Future are the Ministry of Health and the Ministry for the Environment and Natural Resources.

The new government will be introduced tonight.

The government’s agenda focuses on building up infrastructure, stability and responsible economic policy. There is an emphasis on building up Iceland’s economic competitiveness, its healthcare, education and infrastructure, including communications.

Following is a summary of the government’s agenda.

Construction of a new Landspítali University Hospital on Hringbraut in Reykjavík is to be expedited and completed by 2023. Psychiatric care will be made more accessible. There will be a focus on providing access to good healthcare regardless of a patient’s financial condition or place of residence. Patients’ share of cost is to be reduced.

All educational levels will receive increased support.

Economic diversity will be ensured with increased investment or other incentives in creative industry, green industry, knowledge-based industry and increased research and development.

Monetary policy will be reevaluated in order to increase exchange rate stability and to lower interest rates.

The government will support a general reconciliation in the employment sector, responsible fiscal policy and stability in currency and monetary issues.

Infrastructure, such as communications, telecommunications and the national educational system will be strengthened in all parts of the country.

The Agriculture Agreement, passed last year, will be revised. Changes will aim to emphasize increased production, as well as guaranteeing a wide choice of products and protecting the interests of consumers and farmers.

The fisheries system will continue to be based on fishing quotas. Ways will be explored to ensure that fishing fees will better reflect profits of fishing companies.

Environmental issues will be addressed by offering green incentives, increasing forestry, and converting to renewable energy in terms of transport.

Trust in Alþingi, the Icelandic parliament, and in the judicial system must be rebuilt.

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