Bjarni Benediktsson, leader of Iceland’s opposition Independence Party, is in London and yesterday met with his Conservative counterpart David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
The pair discussed the EU, economic matters, Icesave and more at their meeting on the sidelines of the international Democrat Union; a conference of conservatives currently taking place in the British capital.
“We talked about the state of Iceland’s EU negitiations and the economic situation in Europe. The Brits are happy to be outside the eurozone and Cameron is of the opinion that Britain should not take up the euro. I used the opportunity to raise the Icesave dispute with him and drew his attention to the fact that it is now clear the the British and Dutch claims will be fully paid. As a result it will be only right for the nations to stop the dispute and start looking to the future,” Benediktsson told Visir.is.
A statement from the Independence Party says that Benediktsson and Cameron also discussed possible solutions to European financial woes. “At this conference we are sitting at, the spotlight has focused on ways out of the difficulties. It is clear that the nations doing best have put emphasis on lowering taxes, getting state finances under control and paying down debt, as well as increasing the number of jobs. That clearly sounds an awful lot like the stated viewpoint we in the Independence Party hold,” Benediktsson said.
The British Prime Minister asked about the current situation in Icelandic politics and the Independence Party leader reportedly responded that the government has been unable to live up to its promise to bring the Icelandic nation out of the financial crisis. The result is that voters have lost faith in the government and the ruling parties. Opinion polls show, on the other hand, that the Independence Party enjoys by far the most support, Benediktsson states.
Bjarni Benediktsson faces a party leadership vote next week against Hanna Birna Kristjansdottir — a vote which polls indicate he could very well lose.