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Will Police Disease Affect Foreign Leaders?

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Will Police Disease Affect Foreign Leaders?

Police car

Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

Last week, we reported on an acute police illness, which paralyzed some police stations in the country and interrupted work at others. Police officers are still fighting for better pay, and now it looks like their illness might affect the visits of foreign leaders later this month.

The Ministry of Finance believes it has information about plans by police officers all over the country to call in sick for several days in October, RÚV reports. It so happens that two of those days, foreign leaders will be visiting the country.

Police officers in Iceland do not have the right to strike, but calling in sick is their way of bringing attention to their fight for improved wages―a method the Ministry of Finance regards as illegal. Snorri Magnússon, chairman of the Police Federation of Iceland claims he’s unaware of any plans to call in sick, but says the Ministry of Finance has told him it believes such illness reports will coincide with the visits of foreign leaders.

The ministry believes October 16 and 28 to be among the planned sick days. October 16, French President François Hollande is expected in the country, and October 28, the leaders of nine nations will be visiting to attend the Northern Future Forum. Those are the leaders of the Nordic and Baltic countries, along with British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Foreign leaders have the right to be accompanied by armed bodyguards as long as Icelandic policemen accompany them as well. Therefore, it’s unclear how the reported police illness will affect their visit.

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