Independence Party chairperson Bjarni Benediktsson had a lot to say about the EU and his party’s proposed tax cuts, and evoked a now-infamous speech the Icelandic president made in 2005.
Vísir reports that Bjarni met with this fellow conservatives yesterday morning, where he spoke at length on a variety of subjects.
“Unemployment grew last year in eleven EU countries, and was on average at 10.6%,” he said, whilst pointing out that Iceland’s unemployment is much lower. This he attributed to the fact that Iceland uses its own currency, rather than the euro.
Bjarni also talked about his party’s tax cuts, claiming that they have lowered taxes on individuals and businesses by 25 billion ISK in the last year.
“Left-wing parties seem to think that untaxed money is wasted,” he said. “We’re just getting started. Taxes will continue to be lowered. Like the man once said: ‘You ain’t seen nothin’ yet’.”
It is unclear whether the conservative chairman was referencing the famed Bachman Turner Overdrive song, or a now-infamous speech Icelandic president Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson made in 2005. In the speech, entitled “How To Succeed In Modern Business: Lessons From The Icelandic Voyage”, the president cited some 13 reasons why he believes Icelanders are particularly good at business. He also contended that Iceland was just getting started, concluding with, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.”
The speech has been cited on numerous occasions as an example of the hubris and short-sightedness of many of Iceland’s business leaders. Political scientist Eiríkur Bergmann, in his book “Iceland and the International Financial Crisis: Boom, Bust and Recovery”, said of the speech that the president’s “narratives were widely echoed during the boom years,” using “typical nationalist discourse”.