The head of the IMF mission in Iceland has responded to claims that the Fund asked Iceland to close key public sector cultural institutions like the national theatre and national museum to save money. The claims, made by a government minister, were strongly refuted.
Franek Rozwadowski, the permanent representative of the International Monetary Fund in Iceland, has completely denied claims the the IMF asked Iceland to close cultural centres following the banking crash and the country’s subsequent international bailout.
The claims were made by Minister of Education and Culture, Katrín Jakobsdóttir to the Alþingi parliament last Friday. Roswadowski this week responded with a press statement saying that the IMF was only ever interested in the overall size of Iceland’s budget deficit and not the individual components making it up.
“The cornerstone of the recovery plan was the main rule that the government was completely independent in how it intended to reach its goals to close the deficit; how taxation should be organised and where the cutbacks needed to be made,” Roswadowski said — adding that it is simply not true that the IMF recommended cutbacks to the government at any specific cultural institutions or even any individual sector of the national budget.