Pirate Party Boycotts Sovereignty Celebration
The party group of the Pirate Party intends to boycott Alþingi’s centennial celebration of Iceland’s sovereignty at Þingvellir national park today.
The reason for the boycott is the decision by Alþingi to invite Pia Kjærsgaard, speaker of the Danish parliament, to address the meeting. She is the co-founder and former leader of the Danish People’s Party. In an official statement, the Pirate Party calls it “an indefensible decision to invite one of the main authors and spokespersons of xenophobia in Europe to address Alþingi at Þingvellir on the centennial of Iceland’s sovereignty.”
The party notes that the decision to boycott the celebratory meeting was a difficult one and that it only became clear last night who the Danish representative would be.
The Pirate Party’s statement continues: “Celebrations such as this one are a delicate matter in times of rising nationalism worldwide. Of course it is perfectly normal to celebrate a milestone such as this one, but it is risky to show any sort of support for nationalism on such an occasion. The Icelandic nation deserves better than to have extreme nationalism flattered in its name.
“Pia Kjærsgaard was invited to Alþingi because of the position she holds.
“The fact that the founder of one of the most anti-human parties in the Nordic countries is the speaker of the Danish parliament is, in itself, a cause for great worry.
“Inviting someone from outside the parliament, who has worked as hard as Pia Kjærsgaard has on encouraging division and xenophobia, to deliver an honorary address at a celebratory meeting intended to unify us, Icelanders, regardless of our religion and origin, is scandalous.”
Kjærsgaard’s presence at the meeting has triggered criticism from different directions, among them from Viðar Þorsteinsson, CEO of Efling union and from human rights activist Þórunn Ólafsdóttir.
Steingrímur Sigfússon, speaker of Alþingi, defended the decision to invite Kjærsgaard in an interview with RÚV radio, where he said she comes here merely as a speaker of the Danish parliament, not as a politician.