From Iceland — PM Rejects Notion Of Ideological Void

PM Rejects Notion Of Ideological Void

Published January 18, 2015

On Saturday, Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson rejected the notion that his government exists in an “ideological void”, and pointed out, as proof, its “clear future vision in foreign affairs”, presumably referring to its stated intention not to join the European Union.

This came in reply to former Prime Minister Þorsteinn Pálsson’s blog post, wherein he spoke of a void, in terms of foreign policy. Þorsteinn referred to the fact that no high official attended the Paris solidarity march on behalf of Iceland, and speculates that one of the underlying reasons for Iceland’s absence may be the government’s anti-EU policy.

According to Vísir, Sigmundur Davíð responded by pointing out that, in Paris, a few politicians and officials had come together, not as participants in the large march, but in a side street, and had a photograph taken. While Sigmundur says he does not criticize the gathering, “the fact that public discourse centres to such an extent on who was where and who was dressed this way or that, but not on the large questions, such as freedom of expression, worries me.”

The note on the focus on clothing may refer to the Prime Minister’s 2013 meeting with US President Barack Obama, in which Sigmundur Davíð wore mismatching shoes: one formal leather shoe and one sports shoe. This was, reportedly, for medical reasons.

Sigmundur Davíð then added his comment, that the government does not exist in an ideological void.

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