The chairperson of pro-EU group Já Ísland believes Minister of Foreign Affairs Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson should apologise for remarks he made about the “promotion” of the EU.
Vísir reports that the minister was a guest on the news discussion show Kastljósið last night, wherein he made the claim, “The European Union puts more money into promotion than Coca-Cola.” Here, the minister is likely citing The Daily Mail, who made the same claim last September.
Jón Steindór Valdimarsson, the chairperson of Já Ísland, told reporters, “I think the minister should apologise. This is a big oversight.” Jón points out that the Daily Mail article’s source is a report compiled by anti-EU group Open Europe in 2008. He adds that the report authors take “a very broad definition” as to what constitutes advertisement and propaganda – even the Erasmus Programme is classified as such.
“Is not everything the government does propaganda then?,” Jón asked. “Is it propaganda to maintain the education system?”
Gunnar Bragi has made his displeasure with the idea of Iceland joining the EU known on numerous occasions. He has yet to respond to Jón’s remarks at the time of this writing.