Prime Minister of Iceland Sigmundur Davið Gunnlaugsson has been harshly criticized for not having attended the unity march in Paris yesterday following the terrorist attacks last week. He was reportedly the only head of state from Western Europe to be absent in the French capital yesterday.
MP for the Social Democrats Össur Skarphéðinsson wrote in a post on Facebook that Sigmundur should have been able to rearrange his schedule to attend. He also states that eight other ministers were available and that persons elected to such high positions should stand up to their responsibilities, visir.is reports.
According to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office, because of the short notice, travel time and the prime minister’s schedule, neither the prime minister nor the foreign minister were able to attend the march.
In the statement it is also mentioned that no particular minister from Iceland was named in the invitation to Iceland, rather that Iceland was invited to send a representative.
Nína Björk Jónsdóttir, deputy head of mission at the Icelandic Embassy in Paris, represented Iceland at the event.
A total of 3.7 million people took to the streets in France yesterday, including 1.5 million in Paris, bbc.com reports.