Former Icelandic PM Haarde on HARDtalk

Geir H. HaardeGeir H. Haarde, the former Icelandic Prime Minister, was in a BBC HARDtalk interview last night. He was questioned especially about the blame of the financial collapse last October, communication between him and the British PM Gordon Brown and private talks with the governor of the Central Bank of Iceland, David Oddsson.

When offered the opportunity to say he was sorry, Haarde said that he didn‘t think there were any obvious single mistakes, but it was all a sequence of events.

“It’s a series of developments that took place. And I think that if you want to go into the blame business, a lot of people would have to share that blame among themselves. … When and if I say that [I am sorry], that’ll be after the result of our investigation comes out. I will take my part of the responsibility when the results are clear. And when that happens, I will do it domestically, but not on a BBC programme.”

Haarde refused to unveil whether his government received warnings from the Central Bank already in 2006 or the content of his private talks with Oddsson.

“We have been in close contact over these issues for a long time and the bank has its responsibility in regulating part of the framework here. … But who is to blame, who said what to whom, etcetera will be part of the investigation that is now ongoing. … It is clear that the central bank had information on this situation that they were not able to make public and I think there were private talks between the central bank here and their colleagues in Europe of a very serious nature”.

Geir Haarde has also described Britain’s reaction as “totally out of proportion”. He agreed that he could have had more talks and reactions to Brown‘s statements, and claims that actions of the British government were completely inexcusable, unnecessary and without warning and damaged the Icelandic economy.

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