Iceland PM Johanna Sigurdardottir to quit politics

Iceland’s Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir has said that she will quit politics next spring at the end of her current term.

The 69-year-old, who in 2009 became the first-ever female premier for the North Atlantic country, said via the Icelandic Social Democrat website on Friday, “There is a time for everything, also for my time in politics, which has been long and eventful. Now I believe it is time for others to take the baton that was passed to me following the crash. I have therefore decided to leave political life at the end of this term,” Reuters reports.

Sigurdardottir’s time in office has seen a dramatic recovery effort following Iceland’s banking and financial collapse in 2008, during which she managed to convince the nation’s population that heavy cuts were necessary in order to emerge from recession.

She has also been a figurehead of the country’s efforts to become part of the European Union and the eurozone, an issue that has become a divisive subject in recent months amid financial woes in continental Europe.

Meanwhile, speculation has begun to grow as to who will succeed the former flight attendant, with veteran Icelandic politician and former economics minister Arni Pall Arnason being named as a prime candidate.