Icelandic Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir told reporters she was disappointed with president Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson’s decision to veto the recently-passed Icesave bill, adding that he gave the government no indication of his intentions beforehand.
In a statement to reporters that the Prime Minister made to Vísir, she said that the passage of Icesave had already begun to improve Iceland’s image, and that loans from the IMF and the Nordic countries depend on the deal being made. She predicted that uncertainty and inconsistency with regards to Icesave could have negative consequences for Iceland’s relationships with other nations.
MPs from the opposition parties took a naturally different point of view. Independence Party chairman Bjarni Benediktsson told reporters that while he doesn’t believe the president should have the right to veto (a belief probably based on the president’s 2004 veto of an Independence Party-led media bill), that the president has to be true to himself. MP for The Movement Birgitta Jónsdóttir said she burst into tears of joy as she listened to the president’s speech. Progressive Party chairman Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson said that the president’s decision creates “a new opportunity to unite the people, instead of dividing them.”
Click here to download President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson’s statement in English regarding his vetoing of the Icesave bill [.pdf link].