From Iceland — Meet Reykjavík's New Ruling Coalition

Meet Reykjavík’s New Ruling Coalition

Published June 12, 2014

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Natsha Nandabhiwat

Reykjavík City Council’s new ruling coalition was officially announced yesterday.

As predicted, the ruling coalition of Reykjavík City Council consists of four parties. This coalition is led by the Social Democrats with five of city council’s 15 seats, and supported by Bright Future with two seats, the Left-Greens with one seat and the Pirate Party with one seat as well. DV reports that Dagur B. Eggertsson is the new mayor, while Left-Green Sóley Tómasdóttir is the president of city council and Sigurður Björn Blöndal of Bright Future is the city council chairperson.

The joint platform (.pdf file) of this new coalition aims for a number of changes. Perhaps the largest of these promises is the building of 2,500 to 3,000 rental properties over the next three to five years. This was a major platform point of the Social Democrats during campaign season.

The Pirate Party’s emphasis on transparency and “residential democracy” is also reflected in the platform. Amongst other platform points, an emphasis will be placed on using free and open source software “in every level of municipal services” where possible, and to improve the Betri Reykjavík and Betri Hverfi websites, which enable residents to make proposals and support other proposals that could be taken up by city council.

The Left-Greens’ influence can also be seen in the joint platform. While one of their major campaign points – free playschool and free afterschool programmes – was not taken up, the joint platform does promise to invest an additional 100 million ISK in 2015 and an additional 200 million ISK in 2016 towards lowering playschool registration fees.

Reykjavík’s immigrant population might especially be pleased to learn that mother tongue classes for children of immigrants will be increased in Reykjavík primary schools, and the new coalition will also increase services to immigrants in general in order to help them better integrate into Icelandic society.

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