From Iceland — PM "Optimistic" on Coalition Talks

PM “Optimistic” on Coalition Talks

Published April 28, 2009

Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir met with the Icelandic president
yesterday, where she told reporters she was optimistic about the
outcome of her party’s coalition talks with the Leftist-Greens. Later on, Morgunblaðið reports she’s not certain it will take long to reach an agreement. Leftist-Green chairman Steingrímur J. Sigfússon added, “We intend to take care of the matters that need to be taken care of to prevent this opportunity from getting away from us.”
The main area of contention between the two parties has been with regards to the EU – the Social Democrats have emphasised that application talks must begin as soon as possible, in contrast to the rather toned-down emphasis before the elections, saying that the election outcome is a sign that the Icelandic people want to join the EU. The last poll on the matter actually shows over half the nation against joining. The Leftist-Greens, by contrast, are against joining the EU, but favor a national referendum on the matter.
The tensions have caused some to speculate that the Social Dems might form another coalition altogether, either with the Independence Party or even form a minority government with the Progressives and the support of the Citizen’s Movement.
The Prime Minister and Sigfússon both said they intend to continue their talks, and neither have given any indication of entertaining ideas of forming coalitions with other parties beside each others’.
For more analysis of what the elections mean for Iceland and what may transpire in the future, read here.

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