Icelandic president Guðni Thorlacius Jóhannesson sparked social media outrage earlier this week when he stated that he would ban pineapple as a pizza topping if he could. He was then forced to admit that he has no such constitutional power. The Washington Post summarizes the controversy gripping the Nordic nation over the past few days:
Johannesson made the comments during a visit last week to a high school in Akureyri, a town in northern Iceland. The president was quizzed by students about his preferences in life — he told them that he supported the English soccer team Manchester United, for example.
However, things took a turn when Johannesson was asked whether he liked pineapple on his pizza. According to reports in the Icelandic media, the president said he was “firmly opposed” to the idea. He then went further, suggesting that he would ban pineapples on pizza if he could.
Hawaiian pizza fans and small government advocates in Iceland (apparently, there is an overlap between these two groups) promptly denounced the president for his “extreme views.”
On Tuesday, Johannesson addressed the furor with a statement acknowledging that in his position, a traditionally ceremonial role, he had no authority to change Iceland’s laws about pizza:
“I like pineapples, just not on pizza. 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. For pizzas, I recommend seafood.”
Our views on pineapple pizza notwithstanding, can we all agree that Thorlacius is an awesome Icelandic name?