Former Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde, while initially saying he could not have prevented the 2008 bank crash, he now claims that he in fact saved the Icelandic economy from total ruin.
The beleaguered politician is currently on trial, facing charges of negligence and mismanagement, for his part in the financial collapse of 2008. He has long professed his innocence, often saying that the wheels were already in motion for the banks to fall apart by the time he came to power, and there was nothing he could have done to stop it.
Now that the trial is officially under way, Haarde now contends he in fact rescued the country from an even worse fate.
Speaking to AFP, Geir said, “We saved the country from going bankrupt. That is evident if you look at our situation now and you compare it to Ireland or not to mention Greece.”
Geir contends that his government did not make the mistake other EU countries have made, in that they did not guarantee the external debts of the country’s banks.
“We had to let them go,” he said. “They went bankrupt. And it turns out now that this was the right thing to do. There was a banking collapse but the real economy, all the productive capacity in the country, was kept intact and is still running.”
Geir continues to insist that he is innocent of the charges against him, and is in fact the victim of a political vendetta.