Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir called for strength, unison and realism in the fight against the difficulties that Iceland is currently facing in her Icelandic National Day speech on Austurvöllur parliamentary square yesterday.
Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir speaking at parliament at a different occasion. Photo by Páll Kjartansson.
“The Icelandic ‘Outvasion Vikings’ traveled around the world driven by greed and quest for luxury, leaving a scorched ground,” Sigurdardóttir said, according to Morgunbladid.
People were blinded by greed and in addition to the government’s complacency it led to the economic catastrophe Iceland is now facing, the PM added.
Now the reconstruction will begin—a new fight for independence—on the basis of values that in the end will create a better Iceland, she stated.
Iceland formally became a republic, independent from Denmark, on June 17, 1944, so yesterday marked the 65th birthday of the Republic of Iceland.
In her speech, Sigurdardóttir also mentioned the controversial agreement on Iceland’s obligations towards Landsbanki’s Icesave depositors in the UK and the Netherlands, explaining that honoring these obligations will be difficult but unavoidable, nonetheless.
The PM said it was ridiculous to claim that the Icesave agreement was a threat to Iceland’s independence—independence is based on cooperation with other nations.
To reject the responsibility of the Icesave deposits would have serious consequences for diplomatic relations and could cause Iceland’s isolation, she argued.
Furthermore, if Iceland had not agreed to these terms, it could have led to further economic difficulties for Iceland, which would affect the public and the employment market.
The PM said history has proven Icelanders to be tough and capable of facing the current difficulties. While hoping that the crisis will be short, she urged her countrymen to show the world that Icelanders will not be discouraged but will learn from their mistakes.
A fair community of honesty, righteousness and equality would rise from the ashes of fool’s gold, Sigurdardóttir predicted.
Tens of thousands of people celebrated the Icelandic National Day around the country yesterday.
Click here to read more about the National Day.