Iceland Mag

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Iceland Mag

Food & Drink

Former Prime Minister baffles people on first day of Parliament with his unusual snack

By Staff

  • An unusual man and his unconventional snack Sigmundur Davíð has an uncanny ability to capture the public's attention with strange statements, unusual behaviour. Composite photo/vísir

Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, the disgraced former Prime Minister of Iceland who resigned following the revelations of the Panama Papers, reminded Icelanders yesterday of his unusual gift for capturing the attention of the media. On the first day of the parliamentary session Sigmundur posted a photo on Facebook of what looks like raw minced meat smeared on water biscuits with the caption

"One of the great benefits of Icelandic meat is that you really don't need to cook it."

People were understandably baffled by the post, which was shared more than 100 times, and several hundred times more after local media covered the story. Sigmundur's strange snack became the big political story of the day when parliament reconvened after the Christmas break with a new parliamentary majority in power, and a new Prime Minister, Bjarni Benediktsson, delivering a speech outlining his policy agenda for the coming legislative session.

A master of manipulating social media
Sigmundur Davíð is unquestionably the most controversial political figure in Iceland. He has been described as eccentric and odd. Many were shocked by his erratic behavior during the fallout from the Panama papers in the spring of 2016. Sigmundur was forced to resign after 22,000 people gathered in down town Reykjavík to demand new elections. 

At other times, however, Sigmundur Davíð has been able to manipulate the media and especially social media with cryptic or unexpected statements or unusual behavior. Nationalism, the quality of Icelandic agricultural goods as well as references to Icelandic culture and history are frequent themes in his stunts. His un-orthodox Boeuf Tartare reminds us that this larger than life character has not left the political stage.

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