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PM Calls Kaupþing Bonuses ‘Tactless’ and ‘Immoral’

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PM Calls Kaupþing Bonuses ‘Tactless’ and ‘Immoral’

Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson

Prime Minister of Iceland Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson. Photo: Geir Ólafsson.

Prime Minister of Iceland Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson stated that it’s important for the government to send a clear message that the inequality which comes with sky-high bonus payments will not be tolerated. He calls the Kaupþing bonuses “tactless and even immoral.”

“We must take into consideration that bonuses are being paid from a company or a bankruptcy estate which is making money from the remains of the banking collapse, from which the general public has suffered, and it’s peculiar that the profits should go to a few people but not to the society as a whole to a certain extent,” Sigurður told RÚV.

“There’s a loophole there, which I believe we agree that we don’t want,” the PM continued. “We discussed it, among other places, at a meeting with the parliamentarians of the Progressive Party earlier today [yesterday], whether it wouldn’t be possible to appoint a task force to find ways for a larger portion of [the bonuses] going to society.”

The general assembly of holding company Kaupþing, previously the defunct Icelandic bank, approved a proposal on August 30 on paying bonuses of up to ISK 1.5 billion (USD 13 million, EUR 12 million) combined to key employees. Some of these employees will receive bonuses of around ISK 100 million (USD 860,000, EUR 771,000) each.

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