Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Nigeria: One Hundred Days and Counting (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria: One Hundred Days and Counting

Read more

FOCUS

Can Chancellor Merkel's winning streak last?

Read more

FOCUS

Hunger in a fertile land...

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Central African Republic: Brazzaville peace talks suspended

Read more

ENCORE!

High-tech acting king Andy Serkis on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Read more

REPORTERS

Hong Kong in rebellion against the 'motherland'

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Dalia Grybauskaite, President of the Republic of Lithuania

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Gaza: children caught up in the conflict

Read more

  • Pro-Palestinian protest staged in Paris under tight security

    Read more

  • UN human rights chief blasts Israel-Gaza ‘war crimes’

    Read more

  • Bomb attacks leave scores dead in north Nigeria

    Read more

  • Gaza protests: ‘France imported the Mideast conflict a long time ago’

    Read more

  • Poland’s Rafal Majka wins 17th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Remains of Flight MH17 victims arrive in the Netherlands

    Read more

  • Two Ukrainian fighter jets shot down over rebel-held territory

    Read more

  • TransAsia Airways Taiwan crash leaves dozens dead

    Read more

  • Video: Fear, death and mourning in Gaza’s Khan Younis

    Read more

  • Young riders raise French hopes for Tour de France

    Read more

  • Defying UK, France to proceed with warships sale to Russia

    Read more

  • US courts issue conflicting reports on Obamacare

    Read more

  • Video: Lebanon fears fallout from regional turmoil

    Read more

  • Widodo wins Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

Europe

Leftist parties agree interim coalition deal

Video by James CREEDON , Hélène PAPPER

Latest update : 2009-02-01

Two of Iceland's leftist parties will form a government on Sunday with Johanna Sigurdardottir (pictured) the likely new prime minister. The previous administration resigned Jan. 26 after months of protests over its handling of the financial crisis.

AFP - Two left-wing parties in crisis-hit Iceland agreed Saturday to form an interim coalition to replace the country's recently resigned government, the leader of one of the parties said.

   
"I believe we're now in the clear and open. By this time tomorrow (Sunday) we should have a new government," head of the Left Green party Steingrimur Sigfusson told reporters in Reykjavik.
   
The announcement came after five days of negotiations between the Left Greens and the Social Democrats to create a minority government to replace outgoing Prime Minister Geir Haarde's right-left coalition that was forced to resign on January 26 over Iceland's deep economic crisis.

 

   

Many Icelanders, thousands of whom have lost their savings and jobs since the country's once booming financial sector crumbled in October, hold Haarde responsible for the crisis that forced Reiykjavik to take control of the major banks as the currency nosedived.
   
The new government talks had stumbled Friday after the centrist Progressive Party, which had pledged its informal backing to the new coalition in parliament, appeared to backtrack, reportedly charging key policy proposals were too vague and demanding more influence.
   
Progressive Party leader Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson however told reporters late Saturday his party had agreed to offer the needed parliamentary support to the new coalition.
   
"The Progressive members of parliament have reached the conclusion that we will defend the government from a vote of no confidence," he said, stressing however that his party would not commit to voting with the coalition on every issue.
   
The new government is expected to be presented around midday (1200 GMT) on Sunday after it has been approved by the two parties' parliamentarians, and should receive the blessing of President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson later in the afternoon, Sigfusson said.
   
Social Democrat Johanna Sigurdardottir, 66, is expected to be named head of the coalition, thus becoming Iceland's first woman prime minister and the modern world's first openly gay head of government.
   
The new government is unlikely to remain in place for long however, since Haarde before his resignation called snap elections for May 9.
   
Both the Social Democrats and the Left Greens have however decided to propose holding them earlier, on April 25, Sigfusson said.
   
He did not say if the Social Democrats' request to couple the general vote with a referendum on European Union membership had been discussed or decided on.
 

 

Date created : 2009-01-30

COMMENT(S)