compiled by Cem Ertür
17 November 2008
excerpt from ‘RAF exercise over Iceland is cancelled‘
by Hildur Helga Sigurdardottir, Times, 15 November 2008
Nato has decided to cancel RAF air patrols over Iceland that had been due to take place next month.
The Icelandic Prime Minister, Geir Haarde, and the Foreign Minister, Ingibjörg Sólrún GÍsladóttir, insist that the decision has nothing to do with the political and monetary conflict with London.
There can be little doubt, however, that the cancellation of a routine military exercise is related to the current public mood in Iceland and the country’s dire financial situation, as Iceland bears some of the cost of those Nato exercises.
The issue of British fighter planes patrolling Icelandic air space next month has been hotly debated. Last Thursday Össur Skarphéðinsson, then acting Foreign Minister, said that having British fighter jets circling above Iceland in the coming weeks would feel like “kissing the rod of those who are beating you”.