“I did not ask for this pay raise. I was unaware of this pay raise. I don’t need this pay raise,” Icelandic President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson told reporters at a press conference at his residence, Bessastaðir, today, when asked about a 40 percent pay raise to elected officials, announced yesterday, Stundin reports.
The press conference was held shortly before noon to announce that the mandate to form a government had been given to Independence Party Leader Bjarni Benediktsson, but the president also took questions on other subjects. He continued, “Many members of parliament have declared their dislike with the decision of the Wage Council [to give this raise]. I, therefore, expect parliament to invalidate this decision.”
Still, he noted he didn’t want to give parliament orders; that was not his job, but his opinion in this matter was clear. Parliament would have to decide how to react to the Wage Council’s decision.
“Let’s see what parliament does. If it decides that this decision be overturned in some way, I allow myself to reiterate that I would be completely satisfied if a way could be found to do so. Until then, I will see to that this raise does not land in my pocket.”
The pay raise has been harshly criticized by union leaders and numerous politicians.