Tuesday, January 5th, 2010
Protection of Iceland’s sovereignty by ‘sacrificing’ ties with the IMF is likely a good thing, given the IMF’s parasitic nature and history of corruption. Maybe they’ll really wake up and abolish that central bank as well.
Flashback: Icelandic parliament rolls over, votes for EU membership | Iceland to be fast-tracked into the EU | Iceland’s government collapses | In Iceland, the heat is on | Police fire pepper spray at Iceland protesters | Icelanders storm central bank in protest | Iceland inflation soars to 17.1% | 5 injured during protest in Iceland over economic meltdown
Jeff Gray, The Globe and Mail
January 5, 2009
Country’s people have tough choice to make in referendum — agree to repay the money, or say no and risk cementing the country’s status as an international deadbeat
Until Tuesday, Olafur Grimsson’s role as president of Iceland was largely ceremonial. Suddenly, it’s worth billions.
In a twist to the island nation’s much-watched struggle to cope with its massive debt, Mr. Grimsson blocked a $5-billion (U.S.) deal to pay Britain and the Netherlands for losses suffered by depositors in one of Iceland’s banks.
The move drew outrage around the world, and handed the country’s people a tough choice to make in a referendum — agree to repay the money, or say no and risk cementing the country’s status as an international deadbeat.
Icelanders, resentful at paying for their banks’ failings amid a crumbling economy, are widely expected to deliver a resounding “No.” One recent opinion poll suggests 70 per cent of the country’s 320,000 people would oppose the settlement.
Such an outcome could imperil an International Monetary Fund bailout for Iceland, delay the next phase of $2.6-billion in loans from the country’s Nordic neighbours, and harm talks to bring Iceland into the European Union.
It would also leave Iceland as an economic, not just a geographic, island, Britain warned.
“The Icelandic people … would effectively be saying that Iceland does not want to be part of the international financial system,” Britain’s Financial Services Minister Paul Myners said.