From Iceland — Mayor Apologizes for Breaking Campaign Promises

Mayor Apologizes for Breaking Campaign Promises

Published November 9, 2010

Speaking candidly on the news discussion show Kastljósið, Reykjavík mayor Jón Gnarr said he was sorry that his party has had to go back on some of the promises they made during the campaign season last spring, but reminded viewers that his party did promise to break their promises.
RÚV reports that during the discussion, Gnarr said he was sorry that he has been forced to raise taxes on city residents, but added that during last spring’s campaign, the Best Party said that they would break their campaign promises, so anyone who voted for them should have known what they were getting into.
“It’s pretty bad if someone might have voted for me and thought that I’d fix things. For that I have to apologize,” he said in part.
The city budget needs about 4.5 billion ISK, which necessitates having to both make cuts and raise taxes. To this end, Gnarr has sought to make cuts in luxury services, in an effort to spare more widely-used public services.
“How would it be, for example, to close [the ski slopes of] Bláfjöll for two years? We could save 87 million that way,” he said. Heiður Hjaltadóttir, the chairperson of the ski department of sports club Breiðablik, raged at the idea with Vísir, asking reporters rhetorically if Gnarr was in fact insane.
Later in the interview, Gnarr spoke of his effect on Icelandic politics, stating that he has shaken things up. “I’m the Predator of Icelandic politics,” he said. “I’m an alien that no one really knows how to deal with. So the question is whether or not there’s some Arnold Schwarzenegger out there. I don’t think there is.”

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