Icelandic Politicians Praise Obama Skip to content

Icelandic Politicians Praise Obama

Minister of Education and vice-chairman of the Independence party, Thorgerdur Katrín Gunnarsdóttir, is among Icelandic politicians who praised Barack Obama’s inauguration speech delivered at the ceremony after he became the 44th President of the United States yesterday.

“It was a magnificent speech and Obama is clearly a genius with words and hopefully with actions too. His inauguration doesn’t only symbolize new hope for America but also for the rest of the world. He gives us light and warmth in these dark days,” Gunnarsdóttir told Fréttabladid.

Gunnarsdóttir was satisfied with the issues Obama brought up in his speech. “He discussed environmental issues and called for equal opportunities for people to succeed in life.”

MP and vice-chairman of the Social Democrats, Ágúst Ólafur Ágústsson, was equally pleased. “It is a significant turning point, a time for the next generation and an historic event for many reasons.”

Ágústsson said he hoped Obama’s inauguration will lead to a real change in policy for the US government. “Anything is better than the Bush-years, which have left the ground scorched. I hope the United States will become more responsible in international relations.”

“It is also an opportunity for the Icelandic government to improve relations with the United States,” Ágústsson added. “We should be diligent in building bridges to Obama and Hillary.”

The leaders of the opposition parties are also satisfied with Obama. “I heartily celebrate Obama’s inauguration and it gives me hope that it marks a better time in terms of the foreign policy and the general policy of the US authorities,” said Steingrímur J. Sigfússon, chairman of the Left-Greens, adding, “I am also incredibly relieved to get rid of Bush, I wish he would have disappeared sooner.”

Sigfússon said it is interesting for the Icelandic nation to follow the hope rekindled by Obama in America. “We need the same thing here. With a new leadership so the nation can regain faith in the future.”

Chairman of the Liberal Party, Gudjón Arnar Kristjánsson, said there are high expectations tied with Obama. “I believe many peace-loving people around the globe cared about how these elections would turn out. Obama is the candidate I believe was the best for the United States and the entire world. I have faith in him and I hope he will succeed in his job.”

The recently-elected chairman of the Progressive Party Sigmundur Davíd Gunnlaugsson, added, “We in the Progressive Party have looked at Obama as one of us, so we feel this is a certain victory for the party, even if it is indirect.”

“The expectations for Obama are so high that it will be almost impossible for him to live up to all of them. But I have faith in him, at least for the time being,” Gunnlaugsson concluded.

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