Mayor Jón Gnarr has refused to meet the admiral of the Germany navy, currently docked in Reykjavík harbour, his reason being that he is a “pacifist, and against militarism in any form.”
Vísir reports that the fleet is comprised of three ships and about 700 German sailors. Typically, the admiral of a visiting naval fleet meets with the city’s mayor, but Gnarr has refused to accept the admiral’s company.
“I am a pacifist and against militarism in any form,” the mayor said. “I do not see it as being disrespectful to the people visiting us now. I simply want no contact with warfare. It is my sincere opinion that Reykjavík should be a city of peace. Icelanders should show by their deeds that we are a military-free country. We should constantly speak for peace and protest war.”
The city has recently submitted a proposal calling for the banning of all military vehicles within city limits for the same reason. The proposal read in part, “A peaceful and responsible city administration cannot be pleased with an unchanged situation at Reykjavík airport. The city government asks that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs focuses on seeing to it that all military traffic to and from the airport be stopped. Icelanders live by a centuries-old tradition of peace. The nation is peaceful, without an army, and strives to support peace in the world.”