Economist to Become Iceland’s Minister of Business

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Economist to Become Iceland’s Minister of Business

Gylfi Magnússon, associate professor of economics at the University of Iceland, accepted an offer yesterday from the Social Democrats and the Left-Greens to become Iceland’s next minister of business affairs.

The two parties, who are working on the formation of Iceland’s new coalition government, considered it necessary to increase public trust in the ministry, since the minister of business affairs is in charge of the Financial Supervisory Authority (FME) and banking matters, Morgunbladid reports.

Both parties emphasize that the executive system of the Central Bank should be changed and that the current board of governors, with Davíd Oddsson as chairman, be suspended.

According to Morgunbladid’s sources, Már Gudmundsson, a former senior economist at the Central Bank and the current assistant managing director of the monetary and economics division of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), has been asked to become the highest-ranking executive of the Central Bank.

However, Gudmundsson reported to Fréttabladid that he had not been offered the position. “I have not been asked to take on the job because, as far as I’m aware, the position isn’t vacant at this point, whatever may happen later on.”

Gudmundsson would not reveal whether he would accept such an offer. “It depends on many things, presumably among other aspects how well the timing suits me and how solid I believe the framework to be.”

Also, according to Morgunbladid, Björg Thorarensen, a law professor at the University of Iceland, has been asked to take the chair of minister of justice and ecclesiastical affairs.

Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir and Steingrímur J. Sigfússon, chairpersons of the Social Democrats and the Left-Greens, discussed the appointment of ministers until shortly after midnight last night. No details have been released from their meeting.

Click here to read more about the formation of the new government.