From Iceland — Former Conservative Vice Chair: Asked Former PM to Fire Central Bank Chair

Former Conservative Vice Chair: Asked Former PM to Fire Central Bank Chair

Published April 20, 2010

Former Minister of Education and vice chairperson of the Independence Party Þorgerður Katrín Gunnarsdóttir told then-Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde to fire Davíð Oddsson, who was the Central Bank chairman at the time. This is according to the Special Investigative Commission (SIC) report on the banking collapse of 2008.
The incident in question took place the day after the government took over 75% of Glitnir. At that time, Oddsson told Haarde that now was the time to create a national government – an emergency situation wherein there is no ruling coalition and opposition, but rather all parties are united as one legislative bloc.
Haarde apparently began to relay this idea to this chairmen of the other parties. Leftist-Green chairman Steingrímur J. Sigfússon was said to view the idea positively. However, the Social Democrats were strongly opposed to the idea so long as Oddsson remained Central Bank chairman.
While Haarde had previously said publicly that only the Social Democrats had a problem with Oddsson, the report indicates otherwise. Gunnarsdóttir, it said, told Haarde that in light of the current situation, Oddsson had to resign as Central Bank chairman. “A guy like that has got to go,” she is quoted as saying.
In the end, it took new elections, the formation of a new government, and the passage of legislation to get Oddsson forced out of office, as he refused to leave.

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