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On 22 May 2013, Illugi Gunnarsson was announced as new Icelandic minister of education and culture. The announcement goes hand in hand with a change of government, after the recent general elections. Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir‘s government of Social Democrats and Left Greens was replaced by a new coalition government between the Progressive Party and the Independence Party. Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson was appointed Prime Minister, making him one of Iceland's youngest leaders at age 38.
The new education minister, Illugi Gunnarsson, is a member of the Independence Party, together with four other newly appointed ministers. He acted as chairman of the parliamentary group since 2009. Born in 1967, he graduated from the University of Iceland and the London Business School. In the near past, he also operated as a member in different parliamentary committees (Education, Environment, Trade, Budget, etc.) and as a member of the Icelandic delegation to the Nordic Council.
Illugi Gunnarsson has never been minister before, nor have the other newly appointed ministers. The new government will thus be the least experienced government since Iceland became an independent republic in 1944, dixit the Icelandic newspaper Fréttablaðið. The new government has also announced its intention to freeze negotiations on EU access for an unspecified period of time.