The Progressive Party and the Independent Party held separate meetings yesterday evening wherein both parties unanimously agreed on the terms their leaders had negotiated for forming a new coalition government, RÚV reports.
According to the agreement, the leader of the Progressives, Sigmundur Davið Gunnlaugsson, will be the next Prime Minister and Bjarni Benediktsson of the Independent Party will be the new Minister of Finance.
The parties further agreed on a new division of the remaining ministries which will give the Independent Party a total of five ministers while the Progressives will get four. According to Eyjan, the division is as follows:
Progressive Party: Office of Prime Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Ministry of Social Affairs and the Environment.
Independent Party: Ministry of Finance, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Trade and Industry.
The ministries have been divided along different lines than those of the outgoing government. Some ministries have disappeared or been incorporated into others, such as the former Ministry of Welfare and the Ministry for the Environment and Natural Resources.
Also, whereas the outgoing government only had 8 ministers, there are now a total of nine. With the exception of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance, it is still uncertain who the heads of the remaining ministries will be.
The parties have also agreed on instating a new, ministerial committee to oversee economic matters and state finance. The Prime Minister will be the chairperson of this special committee, which plans to work with the Central Bank to settle problems related to foreign debts, such as hedge funds.
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