Geir H. Haarde, the Icelandic Prime Minister, says in an open letter to the Norwegians, which Dagsavisen published on Friday, that Icelanders have a strong sense of history and do not forget displays of friendship when much is at stake.
“When natural disasters have befallen Iceland, like the volcanic eruption in the Westman Islands in 1973, many friendly nations reacted quickly and supported us generously; and we have also tried to offer a helping hand to others in difficulty. Now that we find ourselves in another ‘disaster’, this time man-made, it is reassuring to find that we still enjoy this support,” Haarde wrote, among other things.
He said that the financial crisis is ravaging the entire world and that Icelanders know that hardship will be widespread and that all governments bear, first and foremost, responsibility for their people’s best interests.
“Icelanders’ thankfulness to our international friends is therefore only greater, and has increased our positive outlook for the future that this broad cooperation can bring an end to the global economic crisis,” MBL.is reports Haarde as saying.
The letter can be seen here (in Norwegian).