Meet Iceland's New (And Old) Ministers - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Meet Iceland’s New (And Old) Ministers

Published November 30, 2017

Photo by
Art Bicnick

We now know who will be taking which ministerial seats in Iceland’s new government. There are a few new faces, but much of the line-up remains the same.

Vísir reports that, in addition to Left-Green chair Katrín Jakobsdóttir being Prime Minister, the Left-Greens will also put Svandís Svavarsdóttir in the Minister of Health position. In addition, Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson, the managing director of the Icelandic Environment Association, will be Minister for the Environment “outside of parliament”, meaning he will not have a parliamentary seat, but will serve as minister. Further, Steingrímur J. Sigfússon will be President of Parliament.

Where the Progressives are concerned, Progressive chair Sigurður Ingi Jóhannson will be the Minister of Transport and Local Government, Ásmundur Einar Daðason will be Minister of Social Affairs and Lilja Alfreðsdóttir will be Minister of Education and Cultural Affairs.

Little has changed in the ranks of the Independence Party. Kristján Þór Júlíusson is the new Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture, Independence Party chair Bjarni Benediktsson will be Minister of Finance, as previously reported, while other Independence Party ministers will continue their posts. This means Þórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörð Gylfadóttir will continue to be Minister of Tourism and Industry; Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson will continue to be Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Sigríður Andersen will continue to be Minister of Justice.

This last post is particularly surprising in light of the fact that, at the announcement of the joint platform issued earlier today, increased protection for survivors of sexual assault was emphasised. Sigríður was herself implicated in the scandal that brought down the previous government, as she refused – beyond her legal authority – to release information to the media regarding who had signed a letter of recommendation to restore the civil standing of a convicted paedophile. That signature, it would come to light, came from none other than the father of Bjarni Benediktsson. This revelation prompted the collapse of the previous government.

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