Should Russians be granted asylum?
Þórdís Kolbrún R. Gylfadóttir, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dagur B. Eggertsson, mayor of Reykjavik, Benedikt Erlingsson, film director and actor and Sigridur Mogensen, Director at the Federation of Icelandic Industries partook in the panel discussions that will be aired on BBC's website this Saturday. mbl.is/Kristinn Magnússon
"Should Russians fleeing Russia because of the governance of President Vladimir Putin of Russia be granted asylum here?"
This question was among those raised in the World Questions panel, which was filmed by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in Tjarnarbíó in Reykjavík last night. The show is part of the BBC's series on controversial issues in different countries.
The guest panelists were Þórdís Kolbrún R. Gylfadóttir, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sigríður Mogensen, Director of Industry and Intellectual Property at the Icelandic Confederation of Industry, Mayor Dagur B. Eggertsson and actor Benedikt Erlingsson. The debate was led by Jonny Dymond, the BBC’s royal correspondent
The audience, around 70 people, observed the panel discussion. Before the audience arrived at the hall, they received a pen and paper and were asked to write questions to the panel.
Finally, seven questions were selected. They were about whaling, foreign affairs, the housing market, the tourism industry, Icelandic culture and elves.
Does whaling adversely affect Iceland’s image?
Whaling is controversial and some believe it has a negative effect on the image of Iceland. Gylfadóttir said whaling has not had a huge impact on the Icelandic tourism industry. However, when she served as Minister of Tourism, she often received e-mails and messages on Twitter from people canceling their visit to Iceland citing whaling as their main reason for doing so.
The audience came up with questions and seven of those were chosen for the panel to debate. mbl.is/Kristinn Magnússon
Erlingsson said he was not in favor of whaling, saying that it is only still practiced here because of government corruption.
Different views on asylum for Russia
Two questions concerning foreign affairs were asked, one was whether it should be easier for people who want to move here to acquire citizenship and the other was whether Russians who flee Russia because of President Putin’s regime should be granted asylum.
Erlingsson said he would probably grant asylum to Russians, but not everyone on the platform had the same opinion. You can listen to the show on the BBC’s website on Saturday.