In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Will the government collapse over the Icesave agreement?

Posted by seumasach on October 1, 2009

Iceland Weather Report

30th September, 2009

Big news today: our Minister of Health Ögmundur Jónasson has resigned over the Icesave issue. Apparently the pressure is on to make everyone in government walk in step concerning Icesave – and he’s just not behaving. So instead of being pressured into going against his own convictions he’s decided to bow out.

There has subsequently since been a flurry of speculation as to what is going to happen to the government, whether it will collapse over the Icesavenightmare issue. The two coalition leaders [Steingrímur and Jóhanna] maintain vehemently that it will not – but if there’s one thing we Nicelanders have learned over the past 12 months is not to give much credit to anything anybody in politics says.

Another amazing piece of news this evening was a report that a socialist MP in Norway is lobbying the Norwegian government to grant Iceland a loan that would exceed that which the International Monetary Fund is lending this country. According to the minister, the Norwegians have the resources to do so and should, on the basis of the “deep friendship” between our two nations.  Ögmundur Jónasson discussed on Kastljós this evening what an incredible boon it would be to get out from under “the yoke of pressure and threats” that is being applied on this country from the international community – the EU, the UK and Holland, and the IMF. Referring, of course, to the pressure that is being put on Iceland to concede to all the demands of the UK and Holland concerning the Icesave agreement.

I have to say that I don’t know exactly what the status is of the Icesave debate right now – I know the Dutch and British were displeased with the amendments that were made to the agreement and there have been ongoing talks, but essentially we, the Icelandic people [who note bene will be the ones to pay] are kept in the dark about the progression of things. [The more things change, the more they stay the same.]

Ögmundur did reveal, however, that an MP from his party [Lilja Mósesdóttir] who is in Brussels right now for a meeting was pulled aside last night and told in no uncertain terms that if Icelanders did not “finish” the Icesave agreement, there would be no hope in hell for us in joining the EU.

Is it any wonder that support for joining the EU is waning fast around here?

Anyway, slightly hasty post this evening as I’m packing my bags – heading to Italy tomorrow for a week [wOOt!]. Scheduled to be a guest at theInternazionale Festival in Ferrera this weekend, and when that finishes I plan to take a couple of days to shop for shoes do some exploring.

Let’s hope this country will still be here when I come back

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