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Official says Icelandic gov't could fall this wknd

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Robbien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 05:12 PM
Original message
Official says Icelandic gov't could fall this wknd
Source: AP

REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) - Iceland's government could be ousted from power this weekend, becoming Europe's first to fall as a direct result of the global financial crisis, a spokesman for the prime minister said Saturday.

Thousands of people gathered to protest the government's handling of the economy outside the country's parliament building as Prime Minister Geir Haarde's Independence Party held crisis talks with its coalition partner, the Social Democratic Alliance.

The alliance may seek to oust Haarde and form a minority government with opposition parties until May elections, a spokeswoman for the prime minister said.
. . .

Inflation and unemployment have soared, and the krona currency has plummeted. Haarde's government has nationalized banks and negotiated around $10 billion in loans from the IMF and individual countries. But the country faces a bill likely to run to billions of dollars to repay thousands of Europeans who held accounts with subsidiaries of collapsed Icelandic banks.


Read more: http://www.pr-inside.com/official-says-icelandic-gov-t-...




another article describes events leading up to this:


http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSLO52962...

REYKJAVIK, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Thousands of protesters called on Saturday for Iceland's government to step down immediately, dismissing the prime minister's promise to resign and call an early election.

Prime Minister Geir Haarde, sick with cancer, said on Friday he would quit under the cloud of the country's economic collapse and called for a May 9 election.

Police estimated as many as 6,000 demonstrators stood on the square outside Iceland's Althing parliament, some carrying signs demanding "a new democracy". It was the fifth straight day of protests, and the demonstration was a big as any since regular Saturday protests started in October.

. . .

Haarde told national radio on Saturday he had not stepped down because of the plunging popularity of his coalition and said he hoped to run the government until the elections, despite his health problems. He said he was going abroad, probably to the Netherlands, for surgery to treat a malignant tumour of the oesophagus.

. . .

Polls show that Haarde's Independence Party, which has run Iceland in coalitions for more than 17 years, will likely be the big loser in an election and that there has been a strong shift in favour of the opposition Left-Green and Progressive parties.

Protests turned violent in the early hours of Thursday, with demonstrators pressing for Haarde, the central bank governor and other senior officials to go. Police used teargas for the first time since 1949 against demonstrators.



One day protests obtain relatively nothing. Sustained protests seem to get results.

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NM Independent Donating Member (794 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 05:56 PM
Response to Original message
1. Well, at least they're getting rid of the right leaning government,
and putting in it's place some lefties/progressives. That's definitely good news.
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Optical.Catalyst Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 05:59 PM
Response to Original message
2. So the Bush Administration wrecks the World Economy
Iceland holds on until President Obama takes office.

Bush causes the Government of Iceland to fail, but watch the right wingers try and push this off onto our President.
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Third Doctor Donating Member (213 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:04 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. It's time
for the return of the Viking lords in Iceland.
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Thothmes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:10 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Whats wrong with the Icelanders determining their own fate
Why do they need "Viking Lords" to determine their fate?
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Alhena Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:30 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. I hate Bush, but Iceland dug its own grave ...
they ran their entire financial system like a hedge fund and allowed it to get much larger than the GDP of the country could support. It was inevitable that the world financial markets would eventually lose confidence in Icelandic banks and that they would fail.
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Skink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:45 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Madoff was running Iceland?
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file83 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 06:41 PM
Response to Original message
4. And that's just little Iceland, imagine if it were the USA: The bigger they are...
...the harder they fall. Yikes.
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Hydra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:54 PM
Response to Original message
8. A helpful DUer posted some information on how the UK caused this crisis
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 07:55 PM by Hydra
Using anti-terrorism laws to freeze assets and such back when this was getting REALLY bad. Keep in mind that nothing is as it seems lately.
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:10 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. DUer ExPatLeftist is in Iceland and adds his take here:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

From what I've gleaned, Iceland's government got themselves into this mess quite nicely on their own, and this was essentially a calamity just waiting to happen.

The consequences of buying into Milton Friedman's ideology.
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Doremus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:05 PM
Response to Original message
9. Milton Friedman strikes again.
Greedy Icelandic conservatives bought Friedman's BS and destroyed their economy.

Good on the Icelandic people for ousting their version of Buscho. I hope the perpetrators are eventually tried and punished. Friedman's already got his -- may it last for eternity.


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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 01:33 AM
Response to Original message
11. I don't get it. Why must "the country" pay back investors, when it's the banks who took their money?
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conspirator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 05:41 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. Because banks own the governments, governments receive bribes
Edited on Sun Jan-25-09 05:51 AM by conspirator
to let the corporations rob the people. Since banks and government are the same. It doesn't matter who really is compensating the people. Why do you think banks are entitled to our tax money? Because they are basically owned by the same people who owns the governments.
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Political Heretic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 02:16 AM
Response to Original message
12. Sustained protests seem to get results....... in Iceland
I finished your sentence for you, OP.
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tama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 06:32 AM
Response to Reply #12
15. I think
what made them finally "see the light" was PM getting egged when his car got stuck in the middle of an angry crowd.

Perhaps the PM realized that better to stop there, before the protesters escalate from throwing rotten eggs to throwing rotten shark - that "delicatesse" is deadly.
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tama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 06:27 AM
Response to Original message
14. According the polls
the big winner will be Green-Left coalition (ecosocialist+feminist party), who in last elections gained allready 13% of the vote, and their chairman might become the next PM.

For more info:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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Political Heretic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 09:45 AM
Response to Reply #14
17. Let's band together and form a commune in Iceland!
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 08:09 AM
Response to Original message
16. Iceland's commerce minister resigns
Iceland's Minister of Commerce resigned his post on Sunday, citing the pressures of the island nation's economic collapse.

Bjorgvin Sigurdsson told reporters he had quit and had also fired the head of the Iceland's financial supervisory authority.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5j40Sl...
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Robbien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 11:20 AM
Response to Reply #16
18. The rampant greed was completely out of control and the corruption overwhelming.
Iceland's top economy minister has resigned amid protests over the credit crunch and fears it will take down entire European governments. Banking minister Bjorgvin Sigurdsson steps down.

Icelandic Finance Minister Quits

Iceland is in for a rough ride.
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