“You cannot do this to me. I can’t go up there and say that to Davíd,” said Geir H. Haarde to Össur Skarphédinsson after the latter had steadfastly denied that Oddsson was moving for a special emergency administration because of the measures that needed to be taken in October 2008, like Haarde proposed.
Davíd Oddsson, former prime minister, chairman of the Independence Party, governor and chairman of the Central Bank and current editor of Morgunbladid daily. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.
In an SIC interview, Skarphédinsson said he had immediately requested a break from the meeting as he could not agree to the proposal. Haarde had been very stressed, visir.is reports.
“I said it was absolutely out of the question, he could ask us to walk out of here and dismiss us from the cabinet, but […] I could not agree to it, he did not have authority to do so.”
Skarphédinsson then said:
“I have already expressed in the cabinet that this man was not competent and he would not be able to build up cooperation with the cabinet as has come forth, he was actually proposing that it dissolved and another administration would take over.”
“That meant of course that there would also be complete loss of confidence between himself and Oddsson, and I told him that. And it should be said that he almost trembled. He said: ‘You cannot do this to me. I can’t go up there and say that to Davíd.’ ‘That is what you have to do,’ I said.”
“This was a relatively long meeting break, and then he went upstairs and shortly afterwards we heard heavy steps along the corridor, and Davíd Oddsson walked out and did not return.”
Haarde says he is not afraid of Oddsson, contrary to what comes over in the SIC report. “Davíd Oddsson made a mistake when he came into a cabinet meeting and proposed an emergency administration,” he told ruv.is.
Haarde says he has known Oddsson for a long time, and that Oddsson is a person with a temper and a need to control. Haarde considers that Oddsson did not actually intend to propose an emergency administration, but rather it had accidentally popped out of his mouth when he sat down at the table.
The problem first and foremost was that the Social Democrat ministers did not trust him [Oddsson], nor did they seem to trust the other governors of the Central Bank of Iceland. This could be deduced from various things that had been brought to the forefront.
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