Eva Joly’s recent demands concerning the investigation into Iceland’s bank collapse have garnered a mixed reception here on the rock. While an overwhelming majority appears to support her and sees the eminent logic in her arguments, there are others who are not as convinced.
One criticism concerns her going directly to the media and stating her views, as opposed to first voicing her concerns to the government in private. Mme Joly addressed this question in the Kastljós interview, saying that, in her view, it was the Icelandic people who pushed for her to be hired, so in effect she was voicing her concerns to those who hired her and in that way [I presume] putting pressure on the government.
Personally I think it’s a brilliant strategy. Knowing what I know about doing business with the Icelanders [as many readers will be able to relate to] she probably figured that if she tried to go the normal route – making phone calls that might not be returned, or writing emails that probably would not be returned – it might be well into the next decade before anything got done.
Contrast this with the first time she gave a comprehensive interview on State TV [Silfur Egils]. Right after the interview there was an intense and immediate public response [as outlined in the intro to the last post], with the accompanying swift reaction by the bureaucrats. – Which option sounds more sensible to you?
However, this is a mere sneeze in comparison to a blog post by one Sigurður G. Guðjónsson, who clearly has a bone to pick with Mme Joly and her involvement in the Icelandic investigation. With sarcasm dripping he dubs her “Iceland’s new goddess of justice” and claims that, to her [Joly’s] mind, every Icelandic útrásarvíkingar [Icelandic entrepreneurs who operated abroad] is guilty of a host of white-collar crimes. [How he arrived at this conclusion is beyond me.] He concludes his tirade by asking: “Is the Minister of Justice prepared to shoulder responsibility for Joly’s deeds and actions when the vendetta mindset that she and her Icelandic followers are propagating has evaporated?”
A loaded question. But considering that it is being posed by a man who acted as an attorney for some of the more prominent útrásarvíkingar – Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson and the Baugur clan, to be precise – it sort of falls flat. Not to mention that he was allegedly the main orchestrator of a rather crafty transaction by the former CEO of Landsbanki that has recently come to light, in which he [the CEO] took a loan out his own pension payments in order to avoid paying some ISK 14 million in income tax.
So it is surprising that Mr. Guðjónsson is pulling out all the stops to discredit Mme Joly?
Some things are just too transparent. Fortunately Eva Joly seems to have the force of character to take on these sorts of players without flinching. Which is precisely why we need her here.
[No Iceland Weather Report for a few days as I am currently sojourning in Berlin. But have laptop, so there will be posts!]