From Iceland — Finance Minister Optimistic

Finance Minister Optimistic

Published September 23, 2009

Minister of Finance Steingrímur J. Sigfússon told reporters that he’s optimistic about Iceland’s economic horizon.
“It’s not strange that economic analysis groups come to the conclusion that there’s still a lot of uncertainty in this area,” he told Morgunblaðið, refering to recent conclusions from said groups about Iceland’s employment levels. “but I have full belief that the Icelandic market will show its ability to adjust and surprise people.”
For examples he mentioned that debt re-payment has stabilized, and that in the context of other countries in the world, Iceland’s situation is actually not nearly as bad as it could have been or even is in other countries, in particular with regards to unemployment. Iceland’s current joblessness level stands at about 7%, and is relatively stable.
When asked whether or not the government intended to raise taxes, Sigfússon said that while they have not yet reached that point, that raising taxes shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.
“In order to stablize this situation we need to do two things: make cuts in the budget and bring in more revenue. We are going over the tax system as a whole and will assess how to come to the best solution, socially and economically.”

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