From Iceland — Parliamentary Fight Over EU Talks

Parliamentary Fight Over EU Talks

Published February 27, 2014

Nanna Árnadóttir
Photo by
Jói Kjartans

Harsh words were exchanged in parliament last night over the EU proposal to end accession talks and Minister of Finance, Bjarni Benediktsson, was accused of misogyny, reports DV.

Last night during a late session of parliament held in light of the recent EU proposal to withdraw from accession negotiations, Social Democratic Alliance MP, Katrín Júlíusdóttir, was interrupted by Minister of Finance, Bjarni Benediktsson, as she addressed parliament.

While on the podium Katrín asked why it was necessary to hold parliamentary sessions that lasted well into the night, when so much of the schedule was being dedicated to the EU proposal already.

To demonstrate that there was more on the docket than the EU proposal, Bjarni approached the podium and interrupted Katrín mid-speech to show her the parliamentary schedule.

Becoming aggravated at the interruption, Katrín protested, “Is this how [speakers] are treated in this parliament? Is that how it is? That honourable ministers [interrupt] speakers while they are on the podium?”

As Katrín’s voice grew louder she was directed to leave the podium. Katrín finished by saying that she had “never experienced anything like [this interruption] before,” and as she walked back to her seat she called Bjarni a “helvítis dóni” (directly translated this means “damn rude person”, but more accurately implies “fucking prick”).

Later, Social Democratic Alliance MP, Sigríður Ingibjörg Ingadóttir, addressed parliament to say that she felt that Bjarni’s behaviour toward Katrín was misogynistic.

“I came up here to criticise the [Speaker] for not reprimanding the behaviour of the honoured Minister of Finance, who interrupted honoured Vice Chair of the Social Democratic Alliance, Katrín Júlíusdóttir, as she addressed parliament… and also that [Bjarni] indulged the impulse to tell a dissatisfied woman to ‘calm down’. This is misogyny and it illustrates a lack of respect for members of parliament,” Sigríður said.

Bjarni later said that he had only approached the podium to hand Katrín the schedule, “I neither threw papers at the honoured member of parliament, as was later claimed, nor charged at her in an disruptive way. I just carefully placed some papers in front of her.”

RÚV has reported that in the past few days there have been 292 speeches held in parliament in connection to the EU proposal and 35,000 people have signed a petition against ending accession talks.

You can watch a video of the incident here.

Further Reading

Most Icelanders Want To Vote On EU Talks

EU Not Interested In Will-We-Won’t-We Relationship With Iceland

Proposal To Possibly End EU Talks In The Works

More Protests Planned Today

EU Accession Support On The Rise

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