From Iceland — Former Foreign Minister: Helping Sheep Farmers As Important As Helping Refugee Children

Former Foreign Minister: Helping Sheep Farmers As Important As Helping Refugee Children

Published September 26, 2017

Elías Þórsson
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Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, Framsóknarflokkurinn MP and former Foreign Minister, used the last day of parliament to equate the plight of refugee children with the problems facing sheep and cattle farmers in Iceland, reports Vísir.

Three issues were discussed on the last day of parliament: Ending the practice of restoring honour for convicted criminals, changes to voting registration and revisions on asylum rules regarding refugee children.

It was during discussions on the latter that Gunnar expressed his concern that MPs were forgetting the real victims.

“That’s an important issue, but it is just as important as supporting and saving the families of cattle and sheep farmers, which nobody has mentioned in this room,” said Gunnar. Earlier in the week, he announced that should the topic of sheep farmers not be discussed, he would refuse to participate in discussions on anything else.


We agree with Gunnar. We have driven through the countryside, past sheep farms, and we can attest to that the difference between Raqqa and Rangárvallasýsla are negligible. Syrian refugee children have to survive through chaos and violence, sheep farmers in Suðurland are forced to survive the violent bureaucracy of agricultural laws and grants. 

Syria may be rubble, but our agriculture system is a ruin.

Should you want to show your support for refugee sheep farmers, then use the hashtag #refugeesheep on social media. Or send us an email at and tell us how you’ve helped a sheep farmer this month.

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