Iceland’s Former PM: Oddson’s Criticism not Personal Skip to content

Iceland’s Former PM: Oddson’s Criticism not Personal

Former Prime Minister of Iceland Geir H. Haarde said he did not take the criticism of his government by former governor and chairman of the Central Bank Davíd Oddsson personally.

Oddsson said in an interview on RÚV’s news magazine Kastljós on Tuesday that he had repeatedly warned Haarde’s government about the imminent economic collapse, Fréttabladid reports.

Former Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.

“It is not a personal matter,” Haarde iterated. Oddsson is former prime minister and former chairman of the Independence Party, of which Haarde is now chairman, and is often described as Haarde’s mentor.

Haarde added that the investigation committee, which is investigating the events leading up to the collapse of Iceland’s banking system, will determine who is guilty and who should shoulder responsibility for it.

The former PM then commented that the banks should primarily be held responsible for the current situation because they had taken advantage of the fortunate circumstances when there was plenty of capital to be had at a low price but not prepared when disaster struck.

Former Foreign Minister and chairwoman of the Social Democrats Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir said in an interview with RÚV yesterday that she finds it odd that Oddsson can still control the debate in Iceland.

It is more important what he did than said, Gísladóttir stated, because as Central Bank governor and chairman, Oddsson was in a position to prevent an imminent crisis—he had the tools to do so, she explained.

Also, Gísladóttir said she does not recall to have attended any meeting with Oddsson during which he warned the government that Iceland’s entire banking system would collapse in a matter of weeks.

Gísladóttir has not yet decided whether she will run at the upcoming elections, scheduled for April 25, but will announce her decision today or tomorrow.

Click here to read more about Oddsson’s television interview.

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