Ministers Greeted With Banana Gauntlet - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Ministers Greeted With Banana Gauntlet

Published March 17, 2014

Iceland’s government ministers were greeted by an uncommon sight when they arrived for a meeting this morning – a gauntlet of banana-wielding protestors.

Vísir reports that between ten and fifteen protestors lined up shoulder-to-shoulder on either side of the walkway leading to the Government Offices building downtown, in anticipation of a meeting between ruling coalition ministers. There, protestors held bananas aloft for the ministers to pass through.

The bananas, in case it needs explaining, symbolise an oft-repeated complaint amongst many Icelanders that the government is behaving as if Iceland were a “banana republic”, i.e., corrupt and prone to nepotism.

Protestors that reporters spoke to said they were gathered to demand that continuing EU accession talks be put up for public referendum, and that people get to have a say on non-professional hirings at ministries.

Most ministers who showed up greeted protestors with a brief “Good day” or even seemed amused, although some opted to simply ignore them on their way into the meeting.

Video clips of the arrival of several ministers can be seen in the first link.

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