In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Posts Tagged ‘Revolution in Iceland’

The Specter of Debt Revolt Is Haunting Europe

Posted by smeddum on August 18, 2009

The Specter of Debt Revolt Is Haunting Europe
Why Iceland and Latvia Won’t (and Can’t) Pay for the Kleptocrats’ Ripoffs

By MICHAEL HUDSON

August 18th 2009

Counterpunch

Click here for more details of stipulations and conditions attached to Icesave deal as agreed by Icelandic parliament.

In the wake of the world crash populations are asking not only whether debts should be paid, but whether they can be paid! If they can’t be, then trying to pay will only shrink economics further, preventing them from becoming viable. This is what has led past structural adjustment programs to fail.

For the past decade Iceland has been a kind of controlled experiment, an extreme test case of neoliberal free-market ideology. What has been tested has been whether there is a limit to how far a population can be pushed into debt-dependency. Is there a limit, a point at which government will draw a line against by taking on public responsibility for private debts beyond any reasonable capacity to pay without drastically slashing public spending on education, health care and other basic services? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Battle for Europe, Revolution in Iceland | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

What we get up to at those demonstrations

Posted by seumasach on August 17, 2009

Iceland Weather Report

16th august, 2009

Everyone: I have often thought how great it would be if non-Icelandic speakers could understand some of the speeches that have been delivered at the demonstrations and open citizen’s meetings held here over the last few months. They differ, obviously, depending on who is speaking, but in my view they give great insight into the passion and fervor of the Icelandic nation in these difficult times. To that end, I decided to do a quick translation of the speech given by writer Einar Már Guðmundsson at the Icesave demonstration last Thursday. [The speech is published by permission and the picture was taken by my friend Þorri.]

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Posted in Revolution in Iceland | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Iceland: what ugly secrets are waiting to be exposed in the meltdown?

Posted by smeddum on August 16, 2009

Almost a year since the collapse of the Icelandic banks, the rotten nature of these financial corpses is slowly beginning to emerge.

By Rowena Mason

15 Aug 2009

Telegraph

Iceland’s banks are stabilising but the murky heart of what went wrong is still a mystery
For months rumours of share-ramping, market manipulation, excessive loans to their owners and unusual transfers off-shore have been circling Kaupthing Glitnir and Landsbanki, whose failure last October left 300,000 British customers unable to access their money. Read the rest of this entry »

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Iceland: Lessons to be Learned from Economic Meltdown

Posted by seumasach on August 7, 2009

Eva Jolly

Global Research

7th august, 2009

From G8 to G20, many heads of state and government seem to delight in repeating that nothing will ever be the same again. The world is changing, to the point of being turned on its head by the crisis; the way we think and act in terms of financial regulation, international relations and development aid must therefore, according to them, change too. However, numerous examples contradict all this big talk. The situation in which Iceland now finds itself following the implosion of its banking system and the emergency nationalisation of its three main banks (Kaupthing, Landsbanki and Glitnir) is undoubtedly one of the most significant of these examples. This small country of 320,000 inhabitants is now reeling under the weight of billions of Euros of debt, which has absolutely nothing to do with the vast majority of its population and which Iceland cannot afford to pay.

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Posted in Revolution in Iceland | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

More public outrage as details come spilling out of the Kaupthing loan book

Posted by seumasach on August 4, 2009

Iceland Weather Report

4th august, 2009

Public outrage continued today over the injunction ordered against RÚV [the Icelandic state broadcaster], aimed at stopping it from processing thedetails of the Kaupthing loan book.

Bizarrely, an injunction has not been ordered against other media – only the state broadcaster, although the other media have been sternly instructed by Kaupthing to ignore the WikiLeaks report, OR ELSE. At the same time everybody knows this injunction is a farce – the information has already been downloaded by everyone and his dog here in Iceland and besides, it’s still readily available online.

Some people are doing an excellent job at processing the information in theWikiLeaks article – including the excellent Dagblaðið NEI. It points out, among other things, that Kaupthing, which at the time of its privatization in the early part of this decade was estimated to be worth ISK 20 billion [USD 159 million], loaned its TEN LARGEST CLIENTS a grand total of ISK 1,500 billion [yes, you read that right] in the subsequent few years that it operated as a private banking institution.

Many of the largest recipients of loans from Kaupthing were shareholders in the bank, while the collateral for the loan were shares in the bank itself. [And if you’re like me, this is the point where you’re tempted to stop reading because the mind starts turning somersaults. Is it any wonder they need a team of highly-specialized experts to unravel all the endless knots and tangles in this sorry scenario? This is only the beginning!]

Click here to read more

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Sinister revelations concerning the Icesave agreement

Posted by seumasach on July 24, 2009

Alda

Iceland Weather Report

22nd July, 2009

Pretty significant piece of news today: a Memorandum of Understanding was made public which reveals that British, Dutch and Icelandic authorities met in 2006 to discuss what would happen if Landsbanki went into default and could not cover the deposits of British and Dutch savers in the Icesave accounts.

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Posted in Revolution in Iceland | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Britain’s ‘gunboat’ diplomacy still angers Iceland

Posted by seumasach on July 24, 2009

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

Telegraph

22nd July, 2009

Iceland’s new finance minister Steingrímur Sigfússon is not looking for a fight with Britain. But like every citizen of this rocky outpost, he thinks the British government’s draconian sanctions against his country at the height of the financial crisis last year were grotesque and have made it much harder to clinch a deal to refund IceSave depositors in the UK.

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Iceland: Government and trade unions impose IMF austerity measures

Posted by seumasach on July 14, 2009

Jordan Shilton

WSWS

14th July, 2009

On June 26, a comprehensive agreement was announced between Iceland’s government, trade unions and employers’ organisations, containing plans for sharp public spending cuts and tax hikes. The “stability pact” had been under negotiation for several weeks and is in response to pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the government to seek a balanced budget by 2013.

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Iceland may renege on Icesave payments

Posted by seumasach on July 14, 2009

Here is where the pressure from the streets plays such a crucial role in preventing the government from selling out and strengthening their hand in the renegotiation of the deal. The current terms of the deal appear to be exploitative and unrealistic. Iceland can and must stand firm and not commit itself to unpayable debt.

This is Money

14th July, 2009

The Icelandic Government could try to renegotiate the £2.3bn compensation it has committed to paying British savers over the collapse of Icesave and its parent bank Landsbanki.

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UK freezing of Landsbanki assets ‘as damaging to Iceland as Treaty of Versailles’

Posted by seumasach on July 7, 2009

Daily Telegraph

6th July, 2009

A diplomatic row erupted between the two nations after Landsbanki, the parent bank of Icesave, failed last October affecting 300,000 British savers.

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Wonders at the credit terms for the Icesave deal

Posted by seumasach on July 4, 2009

News Frettir

29th June, 2009

Wonders at the credit terms for the Icesave deal. The EU has granted countries in recessions loans in recent years at lower interests.

Elvira Mendez, specialist in European Law at the University of Iceland, wonders at the rates offered in the deal that was made with Britain and Holland because of the Icesave commitments. This was reported in the news on the National Radio.

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