The Multicultural Council of Reykjavík hosted an open meeting with political parties running in the 27 April elections on Saturday, providing party representatives the opportunity to present their party’s platforms on multiculturalism in Iceland and for immigrants to Iceland to ask questions.
Each of the 10 political parties represented at the meeting were presented with a series of 6 questions ahead of the event and each representative was given five minutes to address attendees, either focusing on a single question prepared by the Multicultural Council or touching upon more questions, as time permitted.
Party representatives spoke on the importance of Iceland embracing a more multicultural future and all stressed the importance of immigrants learning Icelandic in order to facilitate the integration process.
While just 30 minutes were granted for open questions from the audience, several poignant questions were posed, ranging from the logic of emphasizing the importance of foreigners learning Icelandic, while at the same time accepting a system that charges a high price for Icelandic lessons; the claimed acceptance of multiculturalism of the Independence Party, who are responsible for enacting the existing three-tiered immigration system that ranks citizens of Nordic countries above EEA citizens, and all of the above ahead of everybody else in the world; and articles in the proposed new Law on Foreigners and Asylum Seekers that will make it mandatory for foreigners to have legal identification on their person at all times or risk being searched and taken into police custody.
More on the outcomes of the meeting will be in the next issue of the Grapevine.