In America, we’ve quickly become accustomed to our president making off the cuff remarks that may require a double take. But apparently in Iceland, citizens still expect a higher level of discourse from their leaders, especially when espousing upon highly controversial topics… like whether pineapple is a worthy pizza topping.
The controversy reportedly began last Thursday while Icelandic President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson was visiting a high school in the town of Akureyri in North Iceland. (Personally, I thought all of Iceland was “north” but so be it.) According to Iceland Magazine, at some point the prez opened things up to questions, and since he was talking to a bunch of high schoolers, he inevitably got asked about what he thought about pineapples as a pizza topping. (Teens just love their politics!) Reportedly, not only did he suggest that he was opposed to the fruity topping, he also took the dictatorial stance that if he had the power to pass laws, he would enact a law banning pineapple as a pizza topping altogether.
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Though not quite as controversial as, say, banning the citizens of seven countries from traveling to Iceland, Guðni’s stance must have caught residents by surprise, especially since controversial opinions don’t appear to be the Icelandic president’s forte: His approval rating has reportedly soared as high as 97 percent at times.
Needless to say, a conversation about legislating out pizza toppings discussed with teenagers was probably made in jest, but nevertheless, always the people pleaser, Guðni took to social media today to clarify his feelings on the matter. “I like pineapples, just not on pizza,” he began, diplomatically parsing the fruit from its usage. He then clarified his role as president. “I do not have the power to make laws which forbid people to put pineapples on their pizza. I am glad that I do not hold such power. Presidents should not have unlimited power. I would not want to hold this position if I could pass laws forbidding that which I don´t like. I would not want to live in such a country.” Yeah, I’m pretty sure we can all agree this fictitious authoritarian pizza nation has a population of zero.
Still, Guðni didn’t want to leave himself entirely neutral on the subject of ideal pizza toppings. “For pizzas, I recommend seafood,” the president said to end his follow up message. Ooh la la. Seafood pizza? Iceland might not be a dictatorship but its sounds like it damn well may be a plutocracy!