Former Minister of Education Þorgerður Katrín Gunnarsdóttir hand-selected a new director of RÚV before the application deadline for others seeking the position had ran out, and even Davíð Oddsson had a preferred contender.
In his new book, “Nepotism, favouritism, and the fall of Iceland,” Jóhann Hauksson detailed just how the chairman was chosen.
Initially, in 2005, then-Minister of Education Þorgerður Katrín Gunnarsdóttir wanted former MP and then-ambassador to Denmark Þorstein Pálsson to be RÚV’s new director. They met for dinner in Copenhagen to discuss the matter. When he was asked if he wanted the job, he allegedly responded by asking her if she felt she had the power to make such a hire. She replied that she did.
However, Davíð Oddsson had already reserved that position for Páll Magnússon. She had told no one about her intentions to hire Þorstein, not making the decision public, and thereby breaking the law regarding such contracts. None of the other people who had applied for the position ever stood a chance, as the position had been filled before the application deadline ran out.
Jóhann Hauksson has decades of experience in covering politics, most notably at DV and at RÚV.
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