Jon Henley “Iceland's president forced to clarify views on pineapple pizza ban” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/feb/21/icelands-president-would-ban-pineapple-on-pizza-if-he-could
Last week, answering questions from pupils at a high school in Akureyri, Guðni Th. Jóhannesson said his favourite football team was Manchester United and he was “fundamentally opposed” to pineapple on pizzas.
On Tuesday, a statement in English and Icelandic on his Facebook page titled A Statement on the Pizza Controversy clarified his stance, saying he liked pineapple, just not on his pizzas – but could not stop people who did putting it on theirs*2.
“I do not have the power to make laws which forbid people to put pineapples on their pizza,” Guðni, a former history professor at the University of Iceland, wrote. “I am glad I do not hold such power.”
Presidents should “not have unlimited power”, he continued. “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. For pizzas, I recommend seafood.”
Guðni, 47, has enjoyed huge popularity since his election last June, buoyed by his decision to refuse a 20% pay rise, donate 10% of his pre-tax salary to charity*3, and become the first president of any country to march in a Gay Pride parade.
The president’s informal style – he has been spotted picking up a takeaway pizza on his way home from the office*4 – has seen his approval rating soar as high as 97%, prompting some foreigners to wonder whether others might not benefit from his approach.
*1:See Agence France-Presse “Guðni Jóhannesson wins Iceland’s presidential election” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/26/history-professor-gudni-johannesson-wins-iceland-presidential-election
*3:See “President of Iceland confirms that he gives 10% of his pre-tax wages to charity” http://icelandmag.visir.is/article/president-iceland-confirms-he-gives-10-his-pre-tax-wages-charity
*4:See “President of Iceland, Guðni Th, picks up a Domino's pizza on his way home from work” http://icelandmag.visir.is/article/president-iceland-gudni-th-picks-a-dominos-pizza-his-way-home-work