In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Daily Moron- Iceland should adopt sterling, not the euro

Posted by seumasach on February 17, 2009

“First the English destroy Iceland and now they want to impose their English toilet paper currency on the Icelandic people….

What a great comforting feeling for all newly bankrupted Icelandic people to walk around with the English Queen’s head printed on the English toilet paper currency…..

The best the Icelandic people can do is to close down the English embassy in Reykyavik and never engage in business again with the English regime that deliberately attacked Iceland’s banks forcing Iceland into total collapse.”

“your analysis of Hannan’s interference in the affairs of other European countries is spot on ; my conclusion is that Hannan is a US sponsored mole at the EU where he attempts to destroy Europe and destroy the EU and replace it exclusively with an US controlled NATO political structure.

Everytime Hannan speaks in Brussels it would be helpful for all EU MEP’s to vocally denounce him as an American NATO puppet; we in Europe should not allow American sponsored moles to walk into Europe and try to destroy all European institutions we have built up in the last 60 yrs and which have led Europe to become the worlds largest most succesful and prosperous market on the planet.

Johan de  Meulemeester(from comments)

Daniel Hannan


15th February, 2009

I’ve observed before that European integration tends also to diminish a member state’s internal democracy. Iceland is the latest example. As things stand, if you want to amend the constitution, you have to carry the change in parliament, then have a general election, then pass it again. The new Left-wing government wants to scrap that rule so as to fast-track EU membership.

You can see why. Brussels is determined to act before Icelanders recover from their shock. Eurocrats understand that, the longer Icelanders ponder the issue, the likelier they are to vote “No”. Still, it’s an interesting example of how, in order to satisfy the requirements of the EU, Iceland must remove a constitutional safeguard for all proposed future changes: an early sign of what membership would involve.

As far as I can make out, support for the EU is largely to do with the currency. There has, of course, always been a pro-Brussels minority in Iceland. As in every country, some voters persist in overlooking the real EU in favour of an idealised one that is all about peace and free trade. There is, in addition, a constituency that is so angry with the traditionally Euro-sceptic Independence Party that it automatically opposes everything that Davíð Oddson and Geir Haarde stand for – rather as the TUC started supporting the EU in the late 1980s because Margaret Thatcher disliked it.

But these two constituencies, put together, are still a minority. The reason that polls show a majority in favour of abandoning national independence is that many middle-of-the-road voters have concluded that their currency, the króna, is finished. While Iceland could simply declare the euro to be its currency, the EU has indicated that it would regard unilateral adoption as a hostile act. So many Icelanders are resigned, without much enthusiasm, to joining. They accept that their economy would be less competitive, that their taxes would rise, that their fish would be vacu-suctioned away by Spanish trawlers, that their laws would be over-ridden, their democracy lessened. But they don’t see any other option.

Well, how about this, chaps: why don’t you adopt the pound? If you really are convinced that the króna has no future (and I’m not sure I agree, but it’s your decision), there are other currencies out there. Here are four reasons why sterling might be more attractive than the euro:

1. The exchange rate is not so skewed. If you joined the euro, your current devaluation would be locked in in perpetuity. But the pound has fallen by around 30 per cent against the euro: it bridges the gap between Iceland and the euro zone.

2. Membership of sterling wouldn’t carry the price tag that membership of the euro does. You would keep your territorial resources, your energy reserves, your fish. You wouldn’t have to pay vast sums to the EU budget. You wouldn’t have to adopt European external tariffs.

3. We like you. Unlike many in the EU, we’ve never resented your success, or regarded Icelandic independence as a threat to European integration. The Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are in monetary union with the United Kingdom but outside the EU. They are much wealthier than we are, but we don’t mind in the slightest.

4. We are your largest trading partner, taking 19 per cent of your exports. (The US is second, Germany third.) You have more invested in the UK than in the rest of the world put together. Our economies, in short, are closely intertwined.

It’s up to you, my friends. If you really want to ditch the Icelandic crown, there are options besides the euro, including the Danish and Norwegian crowns and the US dollar – and, yes, the British pound. Please think before doing something you regret.

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