Iceland’s President Called “Fool” on Danish TV Skip to content

Iceland’s President Called “Fool” on Danish TV

Two former Danish ministers, Uffe Ellemann-Jensen and Mogens Lykketoft, discussed the Icesave referendum in Iceland and its consequences on a political chat program on TV2 in Denmark yesterday where they issued harsh criticism over Iceland’s President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, who was called both a “fool” and “populist” on the show.


President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson. Photo by Páll Kjartansson.

In their view, Grímsson’s decision to refer the Icesave legislation, which had already been passed by parliament, to a referendum would be comparable to Queen Margrethe saying: “I don’t like this legislation and I’m not going to sign it,” as reported on RÚV.

The ministers stated that with the move and his subsequent comments on the outcome of the referendum, Grímsson is stepping outside the boundaries of the presidential office—he is supposed to be a non-political figurehead—because he is a “populist” and would like to be reelected.

Because of his actions, Grímsson has now delayed the restoration of the Icelandic economy, the former ministers reasoned, adding that people now ask themselves whether Icelanders can be taken seriously in the international arena.

When asked what Icelandic politician they would not want to be, the former ministers were quick to mention Grímsson. However, they would like to step into Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir’s shoes who has tried to clean up the mess and tackle difficult tasks in times of serious crisis, they added.

Click here to listen to a clip from the show (in Danish) and here to read more about Icesave.

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