Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir had some strong words for Iceland’s banking community, after it was brought to light that top management have given themselves generous raises after the economic collapse.
As Eyjan reported, the salary of Arion bank manager Höskuldur H. Ólafsson, for example, has increased by 145% – from 1.75 million ISK to 4.3 million ISK per month – since the banking collapse of 2008. Management there and at Íslandsbanki have also seen their salaries increase, even as the recession still keeps a strong grip on the recovering nation.
This news has sparked considerable anger with the general public, especially as many families struggle to make ends meet and conditions for loans have become stricter. The prime minister, writing on Facebook, had some choice remarks about the situation.
“There is no moral justification for the megasalaries that the top management at Arion bank and Íslandsbanki have received over the past years,” she wrote. “Their conduct has been an intolerable challenge, and a direct threat to stability and peace in society. It is unacceptable that the top bank managers portion out for themselves millions in salaries while the public struggles with the consequences of the bank collapse.”