Foreign Minister: President Went Too Far on Icesave Skip to content

Foreign Minister: President Went Too Far on Icesave

Minister for Foreign Affairs Össur Skarphédinsson believes President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson went too far in criticizing the government for its conduct in the Icesave dispute in the foreign media—it is a direct attack on the government, he said.


Foreign Minister Össur Skarphédinsson. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

Grímsson has appeared in interviews both with the domestic and foreign media lately where he criticizes not only the Icelandic government but also issues harsh criticism of other European states, reports.

Skarphédinsson said it is inappropriate for the president to criticize European nations thus, pointing out that the Nordic countries and Poland have shown Icelanders considerable understanding in the banking collapse.

“The president must decide what he says but it is my view that this can only be considered an attack against the government on this particular issue and especially the finance minister,” Skarphédinsson said.

He added the president has the right to make his opinions known. “He hasn’t stepped outside any legal boundaries. However, it is my view that the president shouldn’t talk this way against the government.”

Bjarni Benediktsson, chairman of the opposition’s Independence Party, brought this matter up at the Icelandic parliament, Althingi, yesterday, asking Minister of Finance Steingrímur J. Sigfússon for his reactions to the president’s comments.

Sigfússon said he wasn’t interested in a quarrel with the president about Icesave. However, “regarding his comments last weekend: it is perhaps a little too soon to crown oneself as a self-appointed winner in a case that hasn’t been concluded.”

“This case isn’t over. Perhaps the wisest thing to do is get to the bottom of it and bring it to an end, hopefully with as few expenses as possible for us all,” the minister concluded.

Click here to read more about Icesave and the president’s comments.


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