Tensions Run High in the Leftist-Greens - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Tensions Run High in the Leftist-Greens

Published October 6, 2009

Disagreements over how to handle the Icesave situation, which
culminated in Leftist-Green MP Ögmundur Jónasson resigning from his
ministership, have put a significant strain on the party.
Sources close to Vísir report that tensions have taken the party nearly to the breaking point. Leftist-Green MP Guðfríður Lilja Grétarsdóttir had been originally asked to be Jónasson’s replacement as Health Minister, but declined. She and Jónasson, as well as other Leftist-Green MPs Lilja Mósesdóttir, Atli Gíslason and Ásmundur Einar Daðason, have in recent days been outspoken in their opposition to pushing the Icesave deal through without further parliamentary discussion, in direct opposition to the party chairman, Minister of Finance Steingrímur J. Sigfússon.
Gunnar Helgi Kristinsson, a professor of political science at the University of Iceland, has gone so far as to say that perhaps the party should split, with those opposed to Icesave forming their own party and then making a deal with the government in order to let them hold a majority in parliament, citing the Danish party Radikal Venstre as an example of using this tactic.
In speaking to Vísir, however, Jónasson emphasized that he will continue to support the ruling coalition, and continue to talk with Sigfússon in the hopes of arriving at an agreement that could go further towards pleasing everyone in the party.


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