Iceland – President/PM rivalry

I couldn’t resist using the same headline as the post on Russia earlier this week. However, this time it applies to Iceland!

My Icelandic not being very strong, all I have to go on is a post in The Reykjavík Grapevine. This is usually a very reliable blog. So, I’m happy to cite it.

Anyway, there is a recent post there that identifies tensions between the president and the PM in Iceland. The story goes like this.

A Special Investigative Commission was set up to examine the causes of Iceland’s 2008 financial meltdown. The Commission’s report identified the president as a ‘cheerleader’ for Icelandic business in the years prior to the collapse. This might seem like a good thing, but it is being taken as a criticism of the president because it appears as if he was instrumental in inflating Iceland’s financial bubble. In response, the government is proposing a new set of ethics regulations. They will apply to ministers and parliament, but also to the president. Anyway, President Grímsson has taken umbrage at the proposal in relation to his office, calling the regulations “an audacious intervention in the relationship between parliament and the office of the president”.

Who said that the Icelandic president was purely a figurehead?

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