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Iceland's president walks back promise to ban pineapple on pizza

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Posted at 2:53 PM, Feb 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-21 14:53:51-05

Iceland’s president, Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, has appeared to walk back bombastic comments he made last week regarding his least favorite pizza topping.

According to Iceland Magazine, Guðni visited a high school class in Akureyri, Iceland last week and spoke to students and faculty. After delivering a speech, he took questions from the students, one of which asked him about his favorite pizza topping.

Guðni responded by telling the students that he was “fundamentally opposed” to putting pineapple on pizza. But he didn’t stop there. He told the group that he would make it illegal to put pineapple on pizza if he had the power to pass laws on his own.

The president’s statements quickly spread on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and Reddit. In just a few short days, Guðni was receiving facing both praise and criticism from pizza lovers around the world.

Guðni appeared to soften his take on pizza on Tuesday, when he took to Facebook to address the controversy.

“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,” he wrote. “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.”

But before signing off, Guðni fired one more pizza-related salvo.

“For pizzas, I recommend seafood.”

It doesn’t appear Guðni’s controversial statements will have much of an impact on his approval ratings. According to Iceland Magazine, Guðni currently holds approval ratings as high as 97 percent.

Alex Hider is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @alexhider.