The office of the Prime Minister has accused a journalist at Morgunblaðið of reporting fabrications, for the second time in a single year.
The story in question concerns Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir’s scheduled meeting with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. Morgunblaðið reported that the prime minister has not given herself the time to meet the premier on 14 July, as was previously decided, and has given no explanation for not doing so. They also report that a 100-strong business committee from Iceland, accompanying the prime minister, have complained that they are missing a big opportunity by having the meeting cancelled.
Hrannar B. Arnarsson, the assistant to the prime minister, has said that the story in question is entirely untrue.
According to Hrannar, the prime minister had a 14 July meeting scheduled with the premier, but then his travel plans changed, and a new date for meeting is being worked out. Hrannar added that Morgunblaðið has, on many occasions, been asked to correct the facts of their reportage.
In fact, the journalist who ran these stories – Agnes Bragadóttir – has been accused by the prime minister’s office of lying before: last September, the prime minister said that another of Agnes’ stories was a fabrication, as it was based on “unnamed sources within the Social Democrats”. Agnes, the prime minister said, has “less than no source within the Social Democrats,” adding, “One need not do anything else but look into the Special Investigative Commission report to see that one man bears the bulk of the responsibility for the economic collapse. This man has still not apologised, but uses Morgunblaðið to sling mud at others – likely to try and draw attention away from himself.”
That one man would be former Central Bank chairman – and a former political opponent of the prime minister’s – Davíð Oddsson.