Finance Minister Gone On Vacation Until Jan 11
Negotiations between the Icelandic Medical Association and the State’s representatives continued towards midnight on Monday. Another meeting was announced on Tuesday afternoon. This was reported by Vísir. Meanwhile, doctors at public hospitals continue their strike actions, which commenced last October. Emergency cases still receive treatment.
According to RÚV, negotiations have progressed in recent days, to the point of both sides hoping to reach a conclusion this week. Interviewed by the broadcaster, Gunnar Björnsson, head of the State’s negotiation committee, said that they move forward on some issues, backwards on others. Bryndís Sigurðardóttir, member of the Medical Association’s committee, said that they had made progress on major issues and were currently going through details.
Towards the end of December, Finance Minister Bjarni Benediktsson stated that the State’s committee had proposed its final offer and would not reach further to meet with doctors’ demands.
The Finance Minister is currently out of reach. According to DV, he left the country on January 2, for undisclosed private reasons. Expected back on January 11, the minister will be absent for nine days.
DV further claims that according to unverified rumours, the minister went skiing. The Finance Ministry’s public relations manager claimed not to have information about the nature of the minister’s journey.