President Says Brown Should Apologize, Others Disagree - The Reykjavik Grapevine

President Says Brown Should Apologize, Others Disagree

Published January 18, 2011

Icelandic president Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that Gordan Brown ought to apologize to Iceland for making a bad economic situation worse with the statements he made to the press. A professor of business at the University of Iceland contends Iceland should rather thank Brown.
In the interview in question, the president says in part, “If Gordon Brown wants to be an honorable man, he should apologize for telling the world that Iceland is a bankrupt country.” This is in reference to statements made by Brown shortly after the bank collapse in fall 2008. Many at the time believed Brown’s rhetoric contributed to foreign investors pulling out of the country in droves, further tanking the economy.
However, Vilhjálmur Bjarnason, a lecturer in the business department at the University of Iceland, contends rather that Iceland should be grateful to Gordon Brown.
Vilhjálmur takes the position that Iceland should thank Britain for “putting an end to the madness”, he told Vísir, by preventing the banks for continuing their disastrous economic policies. He pointed out that Britain and Holland took full responsibility for their banks in 2008.
Relations between the UK and Iceland are beginning to warm again, as a new Icesave deal is now on the table that has been received much more favourably by both the Icelandic government and the opposition.

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