Minister of Finance Benedikt Jóhannesson hopes that agreements with the European Union on the abolition of tariffs on agricultural imports will take effect mid-way through next year, RÚV reports. Benedikt does not believe that these agreements are in conflict with more recent agricultural agreements made by the Icelandic Parliament.
Agricultural trade agreements were made between Iceland and the European Union in September 2015, and a joint statement from the Ministry of Industries and Innovation and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs released at that time stated that the agreements would contribute to wider selection of products and lower prices for the benefit of consumers.
It was hoped the agreements would come into effect at the end of last year or early this year, but they are yet to do so. Benedikt says Icelanders have come to an agreement, but understand the EU has not yet completed the process.
"As far as I can tell, people now believe that they will be approved before or around the end of the year and take effect for us by the middle of next year. And of course it will be a very big issue for consumers," Benedikt stated.