Why Iceland Should Be in the News, But Is Not

By Deena Stryker · 15 Aug 2011

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Picture credit: may15internationalorganization.blogspot
Picture credit: may15internationalorganization.blogspot

An Italian radio program's story about Iceland’s on-going revolution is a stunning example of how little our media tells us about the rest of the world. Americans may remember that at the start of the 2008 financial crisis, Iceland literally went bankrupt.  The reasons were mentioned only in passing, and since then, this little-known member of the European Union fell back into oblivion.


As one European country after another fails or risks failing, imperiling the Euro, with repercussions for the entire world, the last thing the powers that be want is for Iceland to become an example. Here's why:


Five years of a pure neo-liberal regime had made Iceland, (population 320 thousand, no army), one of the richest countries in the world. In 2003 all the country’s banks were privatized, and in an effort to attract foreign investors, they offered on-line banking whose minimal costs allowed them to offer relatively high rates of return. The accounts, called IceSave, attracted many English and Dutch small investors.  But as investments grew, so did the banks’ foreign debt.  In 2003 Iceland’s debt was equal to 200 times its GNP, but in 2007, it was 900 percent.  The 2008 world financial crisis was the coup de grace. The three main Icelandic banks, Landbanki, Kapthing and Glitnir, went belly up and were nationalized, while the Kroner lost 85% of its value with respect to the Euro.  At the end of the year Iceland declared bankruptcy.


Contrary to what could be expected, the crisis resulted in Icelanders recovering their sovereign rights, through a process of direct participatory democracy that eventually led to a new Constitution.  But only after much pain.


Geir Haarde, the Prime Minister of a Social Democratic coalition government, negotiated a two million one hundred thousand dollar loan, to which the Nordic countries added another two and a half million. But the foreign financial community pressured Iceland to impose drastic measures.  The FMI and the European Union wanted to take over its debt, claiming this was the only way for the country to pay back Holland and Great Britain, who had promised to reimburse their citizens.


Protests and riots continued, eventually forcing the government to resign. Elections were brought forward to April 2009, resulting in a left-wing coalition which condemned the neoliberal economic system, but immediately gave in to its demands that Iceland pay off a total of three and a half million Euros.  This required each Icelandic citizen to pay 100 Euros a month (or about $130) for fifteen years, at 5.5% interest, to pay off a debt incurred by private parties vis a vis other private parties. It was the straw that broke the reindeer’s back.


What happened next was extraordinary. The belief that citizens had to pay for the mistakes of a financial monopoly, that an entire nation must be taxed to pay off private debts was shattered, transforming the relationship between citizens and their political institutions and eventually driving Iceland’s leaders to the side of their constituents. The Head of State, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, refused to ratify the law that would have made Iceland’s citizens responsible for its bankers’ debts, and accepted calls for a referendum.


Of course the international community only increased the pressure on Iceland. Great Britain and Holland threatened dire reprisals that would isolate the country.  As Icelanders went to vote, foreign bankers threatened to block any aid from the IMF.  The British government threatened to freeze Icelander savings and checking accounts. As Grimsson said: “We were told that if we refused the international community’s conditions, we would become the Cuba of the North.  But if we had accepted, we would have become the Haiti of the North.” (How many times have I written that when Cubans see the dire state of their neighbor, Haiti, they count themselves lucky.)


In the March 2010 referendum, 93% voted against repayment of the debt.  The IMF immediately froze its loan.  But the revolution (though not televised in the United States), would not be intimidated. With the support of a furious citizenry, the government launched civil and penal investigations into those responsible for the financial crisis.  Interpol put out an international arrest warrant for the ex-president of Kaupthing, Sigurdur Einarsson, as the other bankers implicated in the crash fled the country.


But Icelanders didn't stop there: they decided to draft a new constitution that would free the country from the exaggerated power of international finance and virtual money.  (The one in use had been written when Iceland gained its independence from Denmark, in 1918, the only difference with the Danish constitution being that the word ‘president’ replaced the word ‘king’.)


To write the new constitution, the people of Iceland elected twenty-five citizens from among 522 adults not belonging to any political party but recommended by at least thirty citizens. This document was not the work of a handful of politicians, but was written on the internet. The constituent’s meetings are streamed on-line, and citizens can send their comments and suggestions, witnessing the document as it takes shape. The constitution that eventually emerges from this participatory democratic process will be submitted to parliament for approval after the next elections.


Some readers will remember that Iceland’s ninth century agrarian collapse was featured in Jared Diamond’s book by the same name. Today, that country is recovering from its financial collapse in ways just the opposite of those generally considered unavoidable, as confirmed yesterday by the new head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde to Fareed Zakaria. The people of Greece have been told that the privatization of their public sector is the only solution.  And those of Italy, Spain and Portugal are facing the same threat.


They should look to Iceland. Refusing to bow to foreign interests, that small country stated loud and clear that the people are sovereign.     


That’s why it is not in the news anymore.

Stryker is an American writer that has lived in six different countries, is fluent in four languages and a published writer in three. She looks at the big picture from a systems and spiritual point of view.

This article was originally published by the Daily Kos. SACSIS cannot authorise its republication.

You can find this page online at http://sacsis.org.za/site/article/728.1.

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Comments

Jason Slupski
17 Aug

Politician's Nightmare

Every back-pocketed Career Politician's worst nightmare!

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David Hart
20 Aug

Pedantry

Great article, but can I be a terrible pedant? Iceland is not a member of the European Union

Here is the wikipaedia entry on its ongoing negotiations to become a member: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accession_of_Iceland_to_the_European_Union

I note with a wry smile that there is a big "Considerable Efforts Needed" next to the boxes on Financial Control and Economic & Monetary Policy...

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John Emerson
21 Aug

Iceland's 9th c. collapse

Haven't read Diamond but Iceland was only just beginning to be settled in the 9th c. I doubt that the collapse was then.

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Jakcon Cutsor
18 Aug

Diamond

Diamond wrote about the collapse of Greenland, not Iceland...the author of this article is wrong



Simon Whitehouse
21 Aug

Maths

When you said that "In 2003 Iceland

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Stormkhan
21 Aug

Iceland's Revolution

No sign of this "rebellion" has been reported in the UK media. Perhaps this is because Britain was one of those clamouring for their "pound of flesh"?

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Kevin Southall
21 Aug

Democracy at work

One could say this sort of mobilization of the mob via the internet is catching on across the world and we see it in Isreal and sort of in the USA with the GOP, Tea Party and conservatives hijacking our political system with there grip on the media with flap out lies, disinformation and deception. There arguments are getting weaker everyday. Exposure and elimination of fraudulent politicians will be the order of the day!
Vote and vote with your $$.

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Glen Etzkorn
22 Aug

Folks in Iceland are great at doing the right thing.

In the States we will need to empty many of our prisons to contain the large number of Banksters, stocksters, and politicians who deserve long terms just for the sake of taking the proper time to locate all their stolen monies.

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Patriotgal1
22 Aug

Iceland Restructuring

It looks like the Icelanders were united in their efforts. The US is so divided by political party, race, and I'm sure other things as well. I think we are headed to another Civil War .

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Debbie
22 Aug

Stunning...

I had no idea what has been happening in Iceland! I heard about the financial crisis there...but nothing else. Thank goodness for the internet!

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James
22 Aug

This can happen in America

The US press wont talk about this because everyone in the Financial markets runs the US press.. They dont want American citizens thinking for themselves god forbid that should ever happen they might get smart and stand up and say piss off to the big banks and they cant have that happen. So everyone is kept in the dark about the truth you should see all the things hidden from the general public in the USA.. I live there Though I hate to admit that I do.. And then I have the online world where truth most of the time reigns supreme Well most of the time anyway.. Most US citizens are sheep being led to their own slaughter.. They just bungle their way through life knowing nothing other than what their tv shows tell them.. But I will say this some are waking up and some are speaking out FINALLY after 2 decades of prodding and poking them some are getting the hint something is wrong in America.. Where are all you jobs and your money where did it go.. It went tax haven nations and fat cat corporations that moved to the cheapest nations yet you still pay the same price for the items they make.. when they pay a worker in china 12 cents a day because they didnt want to pay you minimum wage.. they pocket the rest. Get controll back America or you will loose everything to the big banks and you will end up like iceland and greece.. You should be afraid as bankers bilk you of trillions of dollars a year AND YOU LET THEM DO IT!!!!!! By the Way congrats to Iceland for having the balls to stand up

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Magnus D. Magnusson
22 Aug

Bankruptcy

As much as I like this article I have to correct you on one point: Iceland never declared bankruptcy.

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Pulawski Verified user
22 Aug

Billion Instead of Million?

The icelandic debt must be 3 1/2 Billion, not Million, because $3 1/2 Million would be only 10--15 Euro per citizen.

Iceland makes use of EU assistance on fishery issues, and they are involved in other ways as well, seeking eventual membership in the EU. Iceland is a Trade Partner of the EU as well, but they are not yet EU Members.

The article is encouraging, and has inspired me to look deeper into the people of iceland taking back their country.

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Josh
22 Aug

Riveting read.

Probably one of the best recent articles I've read linking finance, economy, democracy and the whole international banking/landing scenery. Icelanders are an inspiration to all.

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Gargilius
22 Aug

Iceland is not a member of the EU

"...this little-known member of the European Union..."

Dude, right from the first paragraph you got this one wrong. Why should I read further?

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Kim
22 Aug

Iceland is too small to matter

The country of Iceland was in debt 900% of it's GNP. This was the result of an out-of-control government. They fixed their problem by defaulting, leaving other countries to reimburse their own citizens for the loss, and they also secured a large loan. In the real world these measures are called bailouts or handouts. The banks went bankrupt because apparently Iceland is completely void of rule of law. The banks didn't hold enough money in reserves. There's no reason to try to keep this a secret, because it's GNP is insignificant

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chad
22 Aug

Too Many Factual Errors

This is all very promising, but there are so many factual errors in the article that it's taking a lot away from the cause.

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EuroAmerican
22 Aug

Homogenous Population

Iceland is almost entirely white, northern European. They have a sense of being a 'people'. That's why they can pull together in such a crisis. That kind of unity becomes more difficult the more multi-cultural and multi-racial a country becomes. Maybe thats why the globalist money powers are all in favor of immigration etc.

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KimNota Verified user
22 Aug

Iceland's too small to matter

The country of Iceland was in debt 900% of it's GNP. This was the result of an out-of-control government. They fixed their problem by defaulting on loans, leaving other countries to reimburse their own citizens for the loss, and they also secured a large loan. In the real world these measures are called bailouts or handouts. The banks went bankrupt because apparently Iceland is completely void of rule of law. The banks didn't hold enough money in reserves. There's no reason to try to keep this a secret, because it's GNP is insignificant

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Gracie
22 Aug

Could It Happen In The UK?

No too many people with vested interests including the British Conservative government who have been bankrolled by Bankers to the tune of at least

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Andy
22 Aug

Continuity question

It says that "In 2003 Iceland

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Bugu
22 Aug

Independence

Just a small note:
Iceland became independent of Denmark in 1943, not 1918.

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MajorAdamHenry
22 Aug

I love this

Now all they need are arrest warrants for Goldman Sachs, Citi and Countrywide execs and this would be the perfect example for the rest of the world.

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Alan199
22 Aug

Iceland is NOT a member of the E.U.

"The reasons were mentioned only in passing, and since then, this little-known member of the European Union fell back into oblivion."

I would have forwarded this to Facebook, Twitter etc as an interesting article but, if there is ANY sloppiness such as that line above, then "No way Jose", it's not going anywhere via me. Sorry.

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Sierra
22 Aug

The USA

This is what the USA needs to do before we are paying $20 for a loaf of white bread and earning the same wages we do today.

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anonymous
22 Aug

Full of typos and errors

This is an interesting story but if you want people to take it seriously you need to do some editing.

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Giselle Spenser
22 Aug

More Pedantry :)

Just a quick correction for Mr Hart & urging caution with Wikipedia references. Iceland has participatedhrough the EEA Agreement, Iceland also participates, albeit with no voting rights, in a number of EU Agencies and programs, covering i.a. enterprise, environment, education and research programs. Iceland also, along with its EEA/EFTA partners, contributes financially to social and economic cohesion in the EU/EEA.

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st
23 Aug

Iceland

Maybe we sed no to Isawe and refused to pay. But now they tell us tat Landsbanki in UK can allmost cower the Icave skandall.
But its is one big issue witch is in your atricle is wery wrong.

Here Icland we the peapole are paying for the banks downfall.
And the crona fell over 30% in 2008 and all our housing loans with it.
That revulotion did no good for us.
We will for many years to come pay the depts of the Banks ond the bankpiratsvikings.
Its the same here and inEurope we pay allso for the greed of the Banksters.
And now is 2011 in Iceland as elswere:And there has been no arrest of enybody who are resonobilly for Island Crysis.
Here is no heven on earth because Islandik politicans were so
bright and so good to us.
We are in the same shit as the rest of the world.
Gretings to Britain.

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Iden
23 Aug

trolls & sockpuppets

Looks like the trolls and right-wing sock-puppets have seized upon several inaccuracies in your (otherwise largely correct) post.

Edit and correct these or risk losing credibility with readers.

If you don't know what a sock-puppet is then look here:
I advise you do, as there are a LOT of them on this post. Actually its more likely to be just one or two posting under several different names, as their comments are almost exactly alike.

Some of what they claim to be inaccurate is in fact true.

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ZENmud
23 Aug

Forgotten details (not SMALL)

No mention of the UK freezing Icelandic assets held in UK?
Under UK Terrorism laws?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/7688560.stm

for shame! some of the 'crisis' was imposed by English 'rape' via illegally pronouncing innocent peoples' investments as 'terror money'!!!!
WTF???

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True
23 Aug

Thank You

Thank you for this article, i realise with some comments that there are some people who don't see or don't want to see the real truth.

All the best for Iceland and the World.

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Danger
23 Aug

What a load of raaaabbish!

It's been said by countless others but I'd advise you stick to the joys of fiction writing if this is what you come up with for a factual piece of journalism.

The key points that your argument revolve around are littered with errors and you're just warping the story to suit your moral agenda with regards to the " big picture from a systems and spiritual point of view."

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Dori Sig
23 Aug

Iceland

Have been following and blogging about the situation in Iceland and it never declared banckrupt.

You can see on my blogs videos and photos from the protests, and also about the corruption that was and maybe is.

http://www.iceland-dori.blogspot.com

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YahooSerious
23 Aug

Moving to Iceland

I'm moving to Iceland. Perhaps small regional governments are the solution for keeping large international corporate interests out of government. I dunno, all I know is that America is going to get a lot worse before it gets any better.

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Echobeats
23 Aug

I can't take anyone seriously...

...who writes an article saying that Iceland is in the EU.

On a more light-hearted note, here is the hilarious campaign video which helped comedian J

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Echobeats
23 Aug

To the Person Who Mentioned Terror Money

The freezing order was made under the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001. Note the three parts of the title: 1. anti-terrorism, 2. crime, and 3. security. As a matter of national *security*, the Act allows the UK government to freeze assets if it reasonably believes that "action to the detriment of the United Kingdom's economy (or part of it) has been or is likely to be taken by a person or persons." This clearly fits the collapse of Landsbanki without any need to bring in the red herring of terrorism.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landsbanki_Freezing_Order_2008

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Old sister
23 Aug

Iceland unshackled

.. WOW ! Iceland sets itself free fom International Banking Bandits and politicians who ruined their economy, then demanded transom. Sold into serfdom by the politicians. it said, "No way; we won't pay. You mammon worshippers gave yourselves this headache and we decline to 'share your pain'.... not now, not ever."

Meaantime the Icelanders are preparing nice hard, cool gray cells to house those who played so fast and loose with the fruit of other people's labor.

The MSM is carefully ignoring this story because they like feeling important in the money games, which they clearly do not understand... ( IMO: You may not have to be without ethics to be an operator in international banking, but it seems to help.) successful as a big time banker, but it sure helps.)

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Ice.
23 Aug

Iceland is not in the EU!

Iceland is not a member of the EU (although some of us wish we were)!!

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Ice.
23 Aug

Please Correct

Iceland is not a member of the EU (although some of us wish we were)!!!

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jakob
23 Aug

jakob

this is a very very unresearched article. from "member of eu" to "millions in debt".

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bridgethegap
23 Aug

wow, thanks

thank you so much for informing,,well everyone...i'm in the US and, well honesly i don't watch the news, it's so slanted/and seemingly superficial...so i had no idea about this...thanks so much for this...i love this site! i'm so excited to see information like this and the other stuff i see here getting out to people...

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Tom Harper
23 Aug

Inaccurate

This article has quite a few inaccuracies and misrepresents several facts.

-- First, as mentioned, Iceland is not a member of the European Union. They are currently in negotiations to join, but, currently, the majority of the population oppose membership.

-- I don't recall the IMF every officially 'freezing' Iceland's loan money. A required review of their finances was at one point reviewed after pressure by the British and Dutch, but they never refused to disburse money after a review.

-- The referendum that saw the first IceSave deal rejected in 2010 was voted on *during* renewed negotiations in which a *new* deal had already been negotiated. The most recent referendum, which still lost, was by no means a 93% landslide. The IceSave issue in general is far more nuanced than this article would suggest; the IceSave obligation will likely be paid off almost entirely (or in total) by estate of Landsbanki, which is currently being managed and sold off by a committee. The issue at hand in the IceSave issue was whether the state was obliged to cover any unforeseen shortfall. (There are other issues wrt to the claims to the estate).

-- There were protests in Iceland, but the term "riot" suggests a rather different turn of events that did not occur. The Kitchenware Revolution did "bring down the government", but US readers should understand that a government resignation and a call for elections is a more commonplace event in Westminster-style parliamentary governments; the same usually happens if a government fails to win a vote to pass the budget or if a member of the controlling coalition pulls out. Furthermore, there was no riot, i.e. no widespread looting, destruction of property, or violence.

-- The decisions by

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Tom Harper
23 Aug

Inaccurate

This article has quite a few inaccuracies and misrepresents several facts.

-- First, as mentioned, Iceland is not a member of the European Union. They are currently in negotiations to join, but, currently, the majority of the population oppose membership.

-- I don't recall the IMF every officially 'freezing' Iceland's loan money. A required review of their finances was at one point reviewed after pressure by the British and Dutch, but they never refused to disburse money after a review.

-- The referendum that saw the first IceSave deal rejected in 2010 was voted on *during* renewed negotiations in which a *new* deal had already been negotiated. The most recent referendum, which still lost, was by no means a 93% landslide. The IceSave issue in general is far more nuanced than this article would suggest; the IceSave obligation will likely be paid off almost entirely (or in total) by estate of Landsbanki, which is currently being managed and sold off by a committee. The issue at hand in the IceSave issue was whether the state was obliged to cover any unforeseen shortfall. (There are other issues wrt to the claims to the estate).

-- There were protests in Iceland, but the term "riot" suggests a rather different turn of events that did not occur. The Kitchenware Revolution did "bring down the government", but US readers should understand that a government resignation and a call for elections is a more commonplace event in Westminster-style parliamentary governments; the same usually happens if a government fails to win a vote to pass the budget or if a member of the controlling coalition pulls out. Furthermore, there was no riot, i.e. no widespread looting, destruction of property, or violence.

-- The decisions by

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Ciwan
23 Aug

Thank You

This was awesome, thank you.

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Marc
23 Aug

200 Times?

Please correct 200 times to 200% or 2 times, it gets hard to take this article seriously with such an statement.

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John G
13 Aug

Erroneous Maths

I second that. Please correct the maths. 200% is not 200 times. It is 2 times. That makes a huge difference to the story.



Robert
23 Aug

Small is Beautiful

Whats interesting for me is the engagement of large numbers of the nation is the dialogue about the future. We can;t even be bothered to vote as we no who ever is in power is not able to think let alone act out of the box/

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Binni
23 Aug

It's no fun being cool examples

Iceland is still in a major crisis. We have an ineffective government with no long term plans, except for what the IMF tells them to do...we have extreme taxataion and skyrocketed indexed loans that people can't pay off. This has hit the younger generation the hardest (25-35) who bought their houses before the bubble burst. This generation is in huge debt shackles and this generation has little hope of ever getting a secure financial foothold.

We may look like cool examples seen from the outside, but inside the outlook is very grim. That's why those that could move away have done so already. Young educated people are either not coming home from studies or establishing their foothold elsewhere.

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Si
23 Aug

To pay a debt of 3 1/2 million

a population of 320,000 would only have to pay 11 one off payment, not 100 per month for 15 years. Figures here are deeply suspect, though the story of iceland's reaction to the gbanking crash is interesting.

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Simon Hukin
23 Aug

No Thanks

I like what Iceland is doing, power to the people. However, I'm not sure if I'd be thinking the same if the UK gov hadn't stepped in to repay all my hard earned savings, which were meant to be guaranteed by the Icelandic gov.

I'd think twice about investing any money in Iceland again, or any country that says "yeah we did guarantee your investment, but screw it, it's going to cost us to much now our bankers have lost it in the casino"..

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Lara Buckerton
23 Aug

Speculative

I am extremely, extremely interested in this bit:

"But Icelanders didn't stop there: they decided to draft a new constitution that would free the country from the exaggerated power of international finance and virtual money."

Which parts of the constitution in particular does this refer to?

http://www.government.is/media/Skjol/constitution_of_iceland.doc

& will it work?

xL

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Verified user
23 Aug

Misunderstanding upon Misunderstanding

As many others have already pointed out, the article is riddled with errors, distortions, and misunderstandings.

It is, in effect, a prime example of taking your beliefs, hopes and prejudices, and projecting them on a country you know little or nothing about -- probably hoping that others are equally ignorant and won't realise this.

The article tells us a lot about Deena Stryker, but ultimately nothing about Iceland.

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Stan
23 Aug

Foolishness

That's really fascinating until you realize that iceland has the population of a large town or a very small city. And direct representative politics works really well at that scale. For that matter so do alot of things.

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Bjarni S. Jonsson
23 Aug

The Dialogue Process

I think it is relevant to note, regarding the public dialogue, that in 2009 a so called National Assembly was organized involving around 1200 people aged 18 and up, chosen by random sample from the national registry discussing the future of the nation. www.thjodfundur2009.is/english

It was organized by a grassroot organization which called itself the Anthill and the attempt was to turn the negative situation into a more constructive one through meaningful public dialogue.

The assembly proved successful to the degree, that the Parliament of Iceland decided to call for a similar assembly a year later involving 1000 randomly selected participants. That event was the prelude to the revision of the constitution and provided a basis for the publicly elected constitutional board to start from. As pointed out in the article the public participation didn't stop there, but continued throughout the process.

A minor correction, since that seems to be a popular subject in this dialogue: Iceland gained full sovereignty over all domestic affairs in 1918, and became a fully independent republic in 1944.

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Silas Broussard
23 Aug

General Comments

Apart from the frankly ignorant and ill-researched nature of this article I would like to know why the Author things it is somehow cool or brave for the people of Iceland to refuse to pay their debts? Many people all over the World were left out of pocket by this problem and while I accept it was a government and banking system problem, it stands to reason that the average Jens Citizen should take some responsibility for this and not just petulantly deny all knowledge. In short I see nothing revolutionary about what is happening, I simply see an entire Nation behaving like children.

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Argon
23 Aug

Thank goodness for naive Icelandic populous

Why is a naive populous good? Good for Britain because the people will now have to pay back the full amount instead of taking the discount deal, so the British will get all the money back.

Well until the Icelandic people realise they cannot get investment in the country for business and migrate. End of Iceland.

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Ross
23 Aug

Get the facts right.

Iceland is not a member of the EU
Iceland is not a member of the EU
Iceland is not a member of the EU
Iceland is not a member of the EU
Iceland is not a member of the EU

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GormanRuttles Verified user
23 Aug

Mmmm.....

so much here is so factually inaccurate that the article is hard to take seriously......also interesting how many readers seem to ignore this and lap it up. What's that about not believing everything you read on the net?

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Lilo
24 Aug

EU membership

It is correct that Iceland is not yet a full-fledged member of the EU. The application has been filed and awaits deliberations and ratification. Iceland is a member in EFTA, which is part of the EEA, and also the Schengen Area. Iceland does participate in many EU affairs as a non-woting member. The author should have been more specific.
Having said that, can we now concentrate on the real story? A country's population refuses to bail out the criminals of the financial sector? A population, which actually is conducting criminal investigations into the very people who caused the collaps?

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Joe Fonebone
24 Aug

Iceland not yet a full member of EU...

To clarify the EU point; Iceland is an EU Candidate country along with Croatia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Turkey.

Source - http://europa.eu/about-eu/countries/index_en.htm

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ABK
24 Aug

Typo?

"But as investments grew, so did the banks

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Andrew
24 Aug

Great Article

This is a great article. I would like to repost this on http://silencednomore.com. How do I contact that author?

Thank you for your help.

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planar
24 Aug

A Suggested Correction Based on Facts

Some readers will remember that Iceland

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Pedro Antic
24 Aug

Good and Bad Article

The article makes some good observations but there are some serious errors in it. Iceland is not in the EU for starters. I won't list them all, but you get my point.

Also, a note to the writer - be consistent with the way you present numbers in your writing. '320 thousand'? Seriously? Followed by 'two million one hundred thousand dollar loan, to which the Nordic countries added another two and a half million'. Come on! The convention is number under 10 are written in words, numbers 10 and above are written as numbers. '320,000' not '320 thousand' please. It would aid readers no end!

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walkingplant Verified user
24 Aug

ideas

Everyone has an agenda when they write so it is important to look past all the "facts" to see what is of value. Ultimately those who damaged the economy anywhere should be hunted down and made to pay. Accountability isn't an entire nation it is the individuals mangling a situation. Large populations, no matter how diligent, an individual, can not have enough control to impose morality only by choices in voting. How will this world get in to balance when there are so many that are stealing and hiding and so many angry with it

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Kit
24 Aug

Citation

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Many comments about errors and corrections have been placed here. The problem with them is that most of them have no credibility either. If you wish to make such accusations, back them up with credible citations. Without credibility, your comments are as worthless as what you claim the article is.

Even if you are yourself a credible source (i.e. a citizen of Iceland or an official of any of the aforementioned organizations, etc.) you must demonstrate your expertise. That does not simply mean say that you are; although that would certainly help with clarification; but you must also show everyone else that you know what you are talking about.

I believe in the freedom to express yourself freely, but I also believe in expressing yourself responsibly. Say what you believe in and say it proudly, but please, say it respectably and with support of facts. If you state anything as a fact

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Vinay
24 Aug

Devaluing the Currency

Iceland was able to devalue its currency, the Kroner, and hence rectify its financial misgivings. But, Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal do not have this option. They have to bear the same Euro rates and cannot devalue to correct their finances. Hence it is a lot more difficult for them. Moreover, they have to conform with the regulations of the EU, which Iceland didn't have to in many cases, since it is not a Eurozone member.

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Eileen
24 Aug

Iceland's Constitution

I fully agree. I have been following and documenting the outcome of the economic collapse in Iceland since 2008 and was lucky enough to attend a number of the constitutional assembly's meetings and speak with some of the council's members. I kept a journal of the experience here: http://wilmaswish.blogspot.com/

I found it amazing how little the constitutional re-write was in the news in the global media but also Iceland it's self.

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Archie Bunker
24 Aug

Poorly Written

Sadly, this article is so poorly written and fact checked that whatever value it's thesis may have is lost. Why is this so often the case with liberal media? I am honestly sympathetic to much of the philosophy, but it's only preaching to the choir when so little attention is paid to simple fact-checking and research. Stryker, it may sound nice to say you "look at the big picture from a systems and spiritual point of view" but please understand no one outside a small liberal circle takes that kind of assertion seriously. Yes, the Iceland story has been underreported, but stories like this actually serve to push it further out of the mainstream.

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Elva
24 Aug

time line

Here's a timeline that probably has fewer errors, and links to other sources.

http://www.businessinsider.com/what-the-world-can-learn-from-icelands-default-model-2011-8

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dingobaby
24 Aug

EU?

Why would Iceland move to apply to the EU when it is that collaboration of crooks that is causing the financial chaos? That's nonsense. That would be the worst possible choice they could make -- move over Greece we found your lost brother.

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John Doe
25 Aug

A total botch-up

Well, what do expect from a website that fronts the slogan, "An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics. - Plato"

-- Which is probably true, except that it wasn't Plato who said it, it was Plutarch. With friends like these...

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Irrumator
25 Aug

Sophomoric, inaccurate fluff piece preaching to the choir.

There are so many mistakes, miscalculations, hyperboles, and outright lies that I don't even know where to begin. Was this the author's Eng 101 midterm paper in draft or something? Terribly disappointed, I thought I would learn something new from the linkbaity title.

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Redditor
25 Aug

Crap article

this article is full of factual and math errors.
See here
http://www.reddit.com/r/economy/comments/jspux/iceland_93_voted_against_repayment_of_the_debt/

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Hugo
25 Aug

Repetitive Comments

What is with commenters on the net these days?

Do we need 23 people all pointing out the same mistake?
"But Iceland is not in the EU blah blah blah"

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Carl Menger
25 Aug

Reform the Kr

Iceland seems to have done a great job of properly dealing with their recent past. However, the only way they can hope to secure their future is to dump fiat currencies and move towards a hard currency. Bankers and governments would have no power if they could not print all the paper currency that they wanted.

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N
25 Aug

Iceland is not part of the EU

This as killed completely my interest on this post!

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James
25 Aug

Look at WHY not WHAT

You don't need to look at WHAT is being said, but rather WHY it needs to be said. Obviously there are some serious changes that need to be made.

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Manuel Vega
25 Aug

Great Post

Great Article. It wasn't meant to be an economic treatise, it points well that the truth in matters of great import have a tendency to be avoided by those it annoys the best, career politicians with an interest maintaining the status quo, whether it hurts the sovereignty of people and nations or not. The result is more often than not, the former. Big always attempts to protect itself like a living organism. It will employ whatever it has in its arsenal, double speak, misuse peoples money, mortgage off futures of entire generations, wars, in the name of self perpetuation.
If all nations did like Iceland, then you would have a better EU, if ithat is what the people want, with minimal surrender of privacy , greater retention and respect for culture and consitent business practices, ... Otherwise as we see so well, we have a good apple thrown in a barrel of bad apples.
But the salesmen of the IMF and EU , pillars of exemplary behaviour, who share the spotlight with the very people that control what we see and here in Mainsteam nonsense,..would have us believe" their way "is the best way, sharing resources and capital..and that all others are too utopian, dystopic is the best! In the end, Africa and South America , as Libya, are the set of dominoes in play.
It is best we all reasonable, abd small nations rethink joining any such Leviathan..

It is divine providence,, sometimes I think, that the term PTB , fstanding for " Powers That Be" like PT Barnum , the circus showman, share not only the same acronym, but the same occupation.

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Alma Jenny Gudmundsdottir
25 Aug

From Iceland

Dear friends - "the public" all over the world. It

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Brandon
25 Aug

Way To Go Icelanders!

I just wanted to say that Icelanders are a great example for us all.

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Freedomfrombankercartels
26 Aug

Iceland Part of the OECD

Iceland joined the European Economic Area in 1994.

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Celia A Andriello a.k.a aliceDewonder
26 Aug

Why this Never Hit the USA

USA couldn't broadcast this because this is what we the people should have the brass to do. Applause Applause for Iceland. Its population gave Holland and England just what it deserved and i for one am proud of them. Makes me want to move there where brave people still exist.
Peace to all of you and congratulations for standing your ground! let me know if I can be of any service.

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Michael
26 Aug

Mistakes

The problem in Iceland was the collapse of the banking system. This could be compared to the problems in Denmark or Ireland, but the problems in the Southern European countries are not comparable. Trying to apply the same medicine to both the two different problems will not work. Also, it would not make sense for Greece to nationalise their banks and steal the deposits, because the deposits belong to Greek people. The bonds the Greek banks hold are also Greek sovereign bonds Stealing only improves your wealth if you steal from someone else. If you steal from yourself, then you are just moving around deck chairs on the Titanic. Also, i hate to point it out again, but it is a whopper, Iceland is not in the EU, and might never be because of the deposit stealing. I have no problem with burning "savvy" investors that did not do their due diligence. Depositors however, are supposed to be protected.

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Nexcerpt
26 Aug

Corrections of MANY errors

A very complete analysis, direct from Iceland:

http://grapevine.is/Features/ReadArticle/A-Deconstruction-of-Icelands-Ongoing-Revolution

The same analysis -- with more commentary and excellent photos of Iceland:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/08/24/1010295/-Naomi-Klein-buys-into-the-Iceland-Revolution-mythos

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I/O
26 Aug

Change

Nothing is set in stone. There's always another (often better) route.

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GKoolman
26 Aug

Deregulation!

Iceland's situation is not the same as the PIGS market situation facing the EU Icelands banckruptcy was caused by lack of oversight and regulation in the Financial sector.

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Sass Al
26 Aug

Iceland

Viking blood running through our veins you see. Never mess with a Viking haha. Fantastic.

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GS
26 Aug

Hoax?

Is this a hoax? If not, this is absolutely hilarious; kind of like the journalistic equivalent of Rebecca Black.

Skimming through some of the other comments it seems I'm not the only one to spot the plethora of mistakes;
- Iceland isn't a member of the EU and being a member of the EFTA is an entirely different issue; none of the EFTA member states are members of the EU
- In 2003, Iceland

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Freedom
26 Aug

People Have the Power

Amazing article. Thank for showing people the other side of the story. The internet is the last force against the international network of greedy pigs that will stop at nothing to drain a country dry of its resources. The line has been drawn in the sand. It's us or them.

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Mavi Lopez Martinez
26 Aug

Article

Amazing article. Would like to translate it to Spanish & send it to my friends in Spain who are at the moment in a bad way & fighting. Please.........maz171180@googlemail.com.

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ellis
26 Aug

Thanks for Making Me Look Like an Idiot....

I posted this on facebook before discovering that it was chock-a-block full of errors...

Oh well, the icelandic revolution was fun while it lasted... about 5 minutes...

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Keith Hirsche
27 Aug

Yes, There Are Factual Errors

Several comments have correctly pointed out factual errors in this story. Nevertheless, the important elements are correct and Iceland has certainly demonstrated a far more effective solution to the banking crisis than most countries - including the USA. To judge the accuracy for yourself, this wiki article is a good source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008%E2%80%932011_Icelandic_financial_crisis.

I don't think it is accidental that the media is not covering this story because it contradicts the "reality" of the official narratives about the people's sovereignty and economic possibility. It also seems that many of the comments here reflect a typical tactic for conservative apologists, which is to deflect attention from important central themes into a pointless debate about details. This same technique is used in the global warming and peak oil discussions and this prevents the possibility of taking actions that might reduce the impact of the impending crisis.

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The Balanced Republic
27 Aug

Where is the new Icelandic Constitution?

Looking for a copy (in English) to see what the good people of Iceland
came up with.

Also, where is the best description of the process they used to create
the constitution? Thank you www.thebalancedrepublic.com

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Bart
28 Aug

Outsider's Opinion?

As an American living abroad in Asia, I quickly discovered how much more world news the American press covers compared to the narrow scope of many countries' news outlets. And then there's the relative independence of American papers-- sure they're owned by media conglomerates, but this is surely different than other countries' media that are so often partially owned or controlled by the state Ministry of Culture or some Orwellian-sounding body. It's easy or useful for you to to claim this or that story isn't being covered by the American Big Media, but that means it's probably not being covered much at all, except maybe by small blogs with questionable credibility and objectivity. Friends in Japan and Korea have barely heard about the UK riots, developments in Libya, etc, because their papers almost exclusively focus on news in their own countries. It takes leaving the U.S. to see its merits, sometimes.

Also, I don't know anything else about the author Stryker than this article, but there are plenty of Americans or westerners who have lived abroad who have not gained perspective or wisdom. There are nuts abroad too. Just my 2 Kroners' worth about that.

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Your humble servant
29 Aug

Iceland Triumphs

Great article, thank you!

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Joe Wein
29 Aug

Hard to Take Seriously

I find it very hard to take seriously an article on a financial crisis of a country when the author consistently confuses billions with millions. Maybe Deena Stryker has a valid point to make, but then she totally undermines it by the number of gross factual inaccuracies in the article. No major newspaper could reprint this without embarrassing itself.

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Niall
30 Aug

The Misunderstandings Leading to Outrage

At the time of the collapse of IceSave, it was public belief in the UK that IceSave was owned by the Icelandic government. There were allegations that funds had been withdrawn from IceSave in order to deal with domestic debt, which would have been illegal as IceSacve UK was a UK-incorporated company and subject to the Financial Services Authority's regulation -- withdrawing of cash that way would have been illegal, and these rumours fuelled public support in the UK for sanctions against Iceland.

However, as it turns out that IceSave was your common-or-garden privately-owned company, I can't see how we (I'm a UK citizen) can lay anything on the doorstep of the Icelandic people.

IceSave UK was a UK company working under a UK regulator. Whose problem does that make it...?

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The Balanced Republic
1 Sep

Found it [Constitution]

Found the new Icelandic constitution:

http://translate.google.com/translate?js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&sl=auto&tl=en&u=stjornlagarad.is%2Fstarfid%2Ffrumvarp

Beware, this looks like an automated translation

An excerpt:

51st Art. Funding for the candidates and their organizations
The law should provide for the operation of political, financial and political candidates in order to keep costs reasonable, ensure transparency and limit the advertising campaign.
Information on contributions over a certain minimum amount must be disclosed as soon as further provision of law.

66th Art. Parliamentarian initiative voters
Two percent of voters may propose parliamentary representative in Parliament.
Ten percent of voters may submit a bill to Parliament. Parliament may submit a counter proposal in the form of another bill. If the bill electorate not been withdrawn shall be borne by the referendum and the parliamentary bill is specified. Parliament may decide that a referendum should be binding.
Voting on the draft proposal of voters must take place within two years after the case has been submitted to Parliament.

www.thebalancedrepublic.com

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Akoho
1 Sep

Can a New Constitution Solve Economic Problems?

I'm really surprised how naive people are to believe that a new Constitution can resolve Economic problems. Icelanders had lost trust in their political system, so the gouvernment will recreate that trust with this new democratic Constitution.

On the other hand, in the Economic field, it would be unacceptable that a Western and Nordic country will be like Haiti or Cuba. European Union and U.S. will maintain its economic and financial relationships with Iceland, those will be the only way for Iceland to recover.

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American in Iceland
2 Sep

Not Exactly True...

I am a American citizen who holds an Icelandic passport and lived in Iceland during the high flying years just prior to the crash and I go back three times a year for personal and business.

Your article is not really accurate as many here have pointed out. One big glaring error was "Iceland voted not to payback the debt." Actually, Icelanders voted down the bill as it stood, but are willing to pay the debt they own. It is worth noting in that your tone takes on a defensive tone throughout the article and Iceland is not addressing these problems in that manner.

This is a tiny country, filled with primarily Icelanders and therefore it is much easier to steer the debate and address issues. One cannot deal with Iceland and other countries in the same way.. Everybody has their own path....

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Lina Vydas
4 Sep

Bravo Iceland!

Bravo Iceland, your people are brave and they deserve the
government they now have. So many other countries should
follow your example.

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Kenneth A. Payne
5 Sep

Soverein Tea Party with ICE

Self determinism before Interdependence as the masses awaken to huddle without a quarterback or what is it that people step on who are spiritually asleep from the individualization of the herding instinct. Sheep dip before mutton chops as the bankers broke their word creating self and group worth idiosyncratic blockage of trust that manifests outward in the ripple effect creating the dwindling world economic spiral flows of insanity - trust flows are currency flows. The politician owes much to the Roth's and the Rock's - Lynard Skinard, says, "if you don't know what I mean won't you stand up and scream, cause there's things going on that you don't know" and will not until the media (the great watch DOG) gets it's own flow of karma by the DOG catcher another form of media that spots their (same stuff as sheep walk on). It probably does not matter too much anyway because everyone here already knows what is going to happen - that is if they remember their own way and word. Why? Because unity is split by nothing and lies make the world spin around and nothing is splitting unity if you remember to keep your ward and way. Then you know, Unity is!

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Frontiercountry for the future
5 Sep

Hard Work by Birgitta J

We need more people like Birgitta to stand up against the neo-con liberal agenda - LOVE U ICELANDERS.

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Zeppos63
8 Sep

Oops!

Iceland is not yet a member of the EU.

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Next
9 Sep

USA Next

USA is next.

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SImon Lamb
11 Sep

Strange Comments

I find it strange people are focusing on math and grammar mistakes in this article when the amazing thing is what has happened in Iceland. Just shows how pedantic and irritating so many people are. Good Luck to Iceland.

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DGullen
14 Sep

Fact Checking

Point taken, but if you can't go to the trouble to get the basic numerical facts and mathematics correct, how do we know the rest of the article isn't innacurate?

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Christian
19 Sep

Iceland Not Part of EU

Please note that Iceland is not a part of the European Union, but only a member of the European Economic Area (EEA)! However they did apply for EU-membership and is accession in 2011 or 2012, though it is doubtful with their economic situation.

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Troll Hunter
25 Sep

Professional Trolls

If nothing else, one can tell by the number of professional banking trolls commenting that this article contains mostly truth. Ah yes, the super rich lawless, their liege lords and willing serfs defending the rule of law

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yoav
3 Oct

2 Questions:

1. after the referrendum iceland made clear that she will pay the debt, but later on. The question is, when and how she will pay Holland and Britain, and how much are citizens in these countries are hurt by this postponement?

2. No doubt that this postponement will Intimidate investors from investing in iceland again. Will iceland manage without them?

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vihrea Verified user
3 Oct

Not a member of the EU

Iceland is not part of the EU!

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Peter Sinclair
5 Oct

Iceland Crisis

Go for it Icelanders, i am from the UK, and i don`t hold any of you responsible, we know what the banks are like, go for it get your independance from the system, lead the way, hopefully we will follow soon, it is the back to normal behaviour, not modern politics.
Modern politics just digs a deeper hole every election, everybody is just waiting for the collapse !

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tsgordon
5 Oct

Iceland, and the course of financial freedom

Soon, there will be no remaining 'members' of the EU, as they will all fall prey to the same ponzi-scheme, and rebellion is past due.

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Jonathan
5 Oct

Stealing

Iceland's refusal to pay back the loan is merely a theft from the citizens of England and Holland. Iceland rebuilds on the back of foreigners. Great.

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Gray
5 Oct

Not a role model

Some nice distortions in this story. Firstly, Geir Haarde is a (neo)liberal conservative! Then, Grimsson is a clueless idiot who CHEERED for the speculants building business empires on borrowed money. Just look up his old speeches, there's a very telling one at grapevine.is. Never a word of criticism or concern from him about the dangerous overleverage of his small nation.

Then, tens thousands of rather small scale investors have been cheated out of their savings. If their own governments hadn't stepped in, they would have never got a penny back., because the Icelandic gov NEVER gave a damn that the "guarantee" fund was essentially empty. But the Icelanders themselves recovered ALL their OWN savings in the same banks! Nice case of discrimination and bankruptcy fraud, enabled by their parliament.

Now, the new government under Johanna SryIforgothername was aware of the horrible consequences on the Icelandic reputation and, after long negotiations, reached a deal with the UK and NL to pay that money back, under tough but reasonable conditions. But Grimsson didn't sign that law and forced the referendum. And a majority of Icelanders, who had profitted tremendously from the boom, refused to give anything back. Nice people, really. Lived as kings for some years on other people's money, but don't want to pay the bill. Real Vikings. Not all of them of course, but enough of them not to trust that nation.

Well, they got away with it because they're only a tiny nation of 300,000 people, and the EU has more important troubles now. But they made enemies with their stance, and should be damn careful. They gambeld away any goodwill the EU may have had for them, and one day there'll be a payback. Don't forget, every deed gets it reward.

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No
6 Oct

EU

Great article, I keep trying to know how the constitution-making is progressing but the information is very hard to find. One little thing though; Iceland is not and has never been a EU member, though they're in the process of getting in now...

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mindfulmoney
6 Oct

Ignorance conquered collectively will set us free

Thanks for this article on Iceland and the comments. The people and their representative (direct hopefully) governmnet ultimately has the power to issue debt-free currency. So Iceland is a great story unfolding for many small nations around the globe to pay attention to. The big brothers will follow.

http://conscious-capitalism.blogspot.com (also see occupywallstreet.org)

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womble
7 Oct

Payback

Iceland should have no fears regarding deferring / defaulting on its (possibly not its peoples) debt.
Their has been many a nation past that has' burnt' the money lenders.
Banks have neither memory or morality and usually return at the first sniff or taste of profit, even if the tasty new treat turns out to be their own bollocks!

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Paul A
7 Oct

Poor Journalism

"This little-known member of the European Union"

I was suspicious of this article's veracity almost immediately, as it's full of glaring mistakes. The first major one being that Iceland is not and never has been a member of the EU. Recently, since it got into debt, it has reversed its long standing preference for total independence and applied for EU membership.

It's understandable that Icelandic people want the UK and Holland to take responsibilty for Iceland's masive debts, but the idea is less appealing to the Brits and the Dutch.

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unclejim Verified user
10 Oct

Sanction of the victim? Not here!

People ought to own the government. If they are to busy making a living then they ought to hire people to run the government for them. In this way the people tell those whom they have hired how they ought to behave.

If the businesses their government employees have approved of acts in contradiction to the well fare of the people then those governmental employees ought to be fired and replaced with better acting people.

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nana s. achampong
10 Oct

#OccupyWallStreet Should Take a Cue

This is a story with a great ending. For years, the IMF and World Bank have been choking and strangling African nations with their austere conditionalities that have somehow reduced the nations to cripple. Iceland's way shows that perseverance and people's power can weather any economic storm. OccupyWallStreet must take a cue.

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Nancy Parker
11 Oct

Bankers Deserve Prosecution

It would be great if all the bankers involved in the worldwide financial mess were prosecuted, since much of what they did was FORGING MONEY. Use $10 of real assets to back $1000 of derivatives and sell them, you have forged $990. Repeat all over the world, you have forged untold billions. And we are surprised that economies are collapsing?? The law needs to get after these guys and force them to shape up.

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Renato
11 Oct

The Pain of the Others

I understand why the UK people are pissed. They lost their investments in the end of story. They are right to be like this. But I also think that the "vikings" might be right too. They claimed for their freedom of this corrupt system. I wonder what would happen if the opposite had happened...Imagine if the explored countries of the past and today (Africans, South Americans, Asians, etc) suddenly decide to "take back" years of exploitation, enslavery, theft of natural resources and much more. Would that be fair? I don't have any answer, but I know the problem. Our monetary system.

Peace

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Karen
11 Oct

Carpet Bagging Investors

I have no sympathy for the British or Dutch investors who are motivated only by greed. Their gamble to make money backfired and not getting their investment back, is the risk they take . The World Bank and the IMF have ruined countries in Africa and South America. They have no concern for the population, it's services or quality of life. Perhaps Third World countries were easier to control or intimidate but hopefully Icelands response will lead the new way and encourage all these countries being screwed by Multi-National corporations to throw off the yoke of financial oppression and take their countries back.

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Patrick
12 Oct

My Comment

I left a comment yesterday - nothing abusive, but I pointed out some factual errors in the piece. Am I correct in assuming I didn't make it through moderation because I pointed out problems with the article?

Interesting for a website that claims to promote truth - looks more like another organization pursuing their own self-interest.

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tess
14 Oct

It's Not Real

The debt was fraudulently sold in the first place, it didn't exist in reality, so why should anyone pay? Consensual reality, can go either way.

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Citizen Deux
14 Oct

Retraction Needed

I think it is clear by now that this article should be retracted.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/08/24/1010295/-Naomi-Klein-buys-into-the-Iceland-Revolution-mythos

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Phil Gallagher
14 Oct

Please Check Your Facts

This is an author in serious need of an editor (or a change of career). If there are errors in basic maths (from 200 times to 900 percent is a decline, not an increase), simple facts (Iceland is not a member of the EU), and some nonsensical English ("Some readers will remember that Iceland

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Will
17 Oct

Jared's "Collapse"

Great article. Thanks for the info - I didn't know any of this, any of the detail behind the aftermath of the bankruptcy and 'no' vote referendum.

But wasn't Jared's book about the agrarian collapse on GREENLAND? Iceland has been continually occupied by Norse the hasn't it?

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Emily Windsor-Cragg
18 Oct

Handwriting on the Wall

I agree with what Karen says: to wit, "I have no sympathy for the British or Dutch investors who are motivated only by greed. Their gamble to make money backfired and not getting their investment back, is the risk they take . The World Bank and the IMF have ruined countries in Africa and South America. They have no concern for the population, it's services or quality of life. Perhaps Third World countries were easier to control or intimidate but hopefully Icelands response will lead the new way and encourage all these countries being screwed by Multi-National corporations to throw off the yoke of financial oppression and take their countries back."

I think this article is wonderful, and it gives us in the USSA some hope. :)

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Aiamir
18 Oct

The Real Problem

If one looks at the history of money there was a fundamental change during the early 20th Century when the Federal Reserve Act was implemented, not just in the USA, but all over the world (I live in South Africa and this insiduous Act was passed here in 1918). Fundamentally, the change was that governments would no longer print money based on the collective wealth (principally gold) of their populations. Instead they (governements) gave that right to the "Reserve Banks". A little-known fact is that these Reserve Banks are privately owned, and not owned by governments.

These banks became the lenders of last resort. In other words when governments over-spent, then the Reserve Banks would print more money, that would be circulated into the economy. They then raised the finance to fund this new money by various debt instruments (like Treasury Bonds), that could be tendered for and bought by wealthy investors and institutions. Of course, depending on the credit rating of the country concerned, then an "interest" would be payable. This "interest" would be the way the super-rich could "bleed" economies over time, and remove wealth from individuals. Income tax does the same thing.

So the economies of the Western World's money system became based on debt, not assets held. Thus, the energy form has changed such that "money's" value is based on the ability of the populations of the Western World to repay this debt. A kind of economic slavery.
As we see currently, many economies of the Western World are unable to repay this debt. Another little-known fact is that these "Reserve Banks" have taken a hypothec over the assets of countries and their populations, as security for these "loans".

People should understand the illusion that has been created around money, and in their own minds understand the position that this places us in. I suggest that we should take back our sovereignty, hold onto our own values, and not the "value" of money, which in the end, has no value, other than to enslave us to the current monetary system. It is a great challenge for me to observe what is around me and in me, and to discern what is true value, and what energy exchanges I become involved in, and to what I attach or allow to be attached to me as a sovereign being.
The worldwide "Occupy" movement is basically about this

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BJS3D
18 Oct

Poor Journalism (Errors with facts)

Some have pointed out that Iceland is not a member of the EU. This is absolutely true. It's a matter of semantics, really. Although Iceland is not an official member of the EU (though is an applicant thereof), the nation is fully integrated into the EFTA and EEA, thus existing in all aspects other than "officially" within the EU. This statement needs to be corrected.

The points that we should be looking at, however, are the facts that the Icelandic people had enough, took a stand and took back their country from those who have done to them what they have also done to the rest of us. This is less a fact finding mission and more a raising of hope in that we can overcome a corrupt system.

The author needs to rework this to be less vague on certain details because, as it is, the reading requires a foundational knowledge of recent history and a bit of speculation into the future relationship of Iceland and the EU.

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Miss Germany
21 Oct

Iceland

Iceland is not and has never been a member of the European Union

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LarchOye
21 Oct

DRAFTING A NEW CONSTITUTION: Calling all Americans

I am planning to launch what I consider to be A MASSIVE undertaking- which absolutely MUST be done.

WE THE PEOPLE,
Must take it upon ourselves to re-write the Constitution of the United States.

I (personally) feel that the original should serve as a sort of framework, and it will certainly be referenced and criticized where it is appropriate.

The Goal: is to have EVERY American citizen both take part in drafting the document, and have the responsibility for approving of the document ONLY when it satisfies their expectations.

We shall then submit the new Constitution of the United States to our state legislatures for ratification- under the condition that ratification automatically be put to a popular vote, should the legislature fail or refuse to ratify it.

We will of course have to determine what the conditions are for ratification of the states to be considered successful- whether it require all 50 states to become law, or if some percentage (like 38/50 or something) be enough representation to declare success.

Should the states decide to ratify a new constitution, the existing federal government shall be immediately dissolved, and the processes by which new representatives are elected shall begin. Should any members of the former government NOT comply peacefully with the demands of the states, and the people- then the people must forcibly remove them. Any act of violence committed against the people shall be considered an act of treason....

TO BE CONTINUED...

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HaveSeenItAll
13 Feb

re DRAFTING A NEW CONSTITUTION

Have you lost your mind??? We don't need a NEW Constitution. We need to actually follow the one we have. Seriously, you should think this through.



Robert
22 Oct

Iceland

I think the European Union and Europe are confused in that case.

Iceland is indeed not part of the European union, but is a part of the Nordic Union (Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland.). A lesser known entitiy.

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Paul Halsall
23 Oct

Ill-informed and Innumerate

Interesting article, but badly informed and innumerate. Iceland is not a member of the European Union, and if its overseas debt really went from "200 times" to "900%" it would have shown a vast improvement.

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Paul
24 Oct

So, what you people are saying is...

Iceland's not a member of the EU? I'm not sure I read it right, maybe we need ANOTHER 30 USELESS COMMENTS telling us all the same thing because I didn't quite get it the first 30 times.

If you can't be bothered to read what's already been written, don't expect anyone else to have to put up with your waste-of-space input.

Business insiders view (for you skim readers) http://www.businessinsider.com/what-the-world-can-learn-from-icelands-default-model-2011-8

I'm not so sure about Business Insider's view that we should let the banks default, what needs to be done is to force the banks to break up into smaller parts owned by separate private interests, reintroduce the regulation that had to be removed for this crisis to occur in the first place and introduce new regulation for the new factors such as all this investments trading which, when you look at it from a distance, looks a lot like a Ponzi scheme.

"You can't do that, they'll leave the country!" I hear some cry.

Good.

These organisations and people are like little financial black holes which have sucked the money out of every economy in the world. They spent years running investment schemes which even they couldn't claim to understand with money which they only thought existed (another way of looking at this is that they cooked the books like billy-o) and then when time came for people to cash in what they believed they owned the banks had to admit there was no money after all, they were headed for the bottom and they were riding us all the way.

BTW, if anyone wants to start going on about 'fiat currency', explain first how that gets around fraudulent book-keeping.

Now the IMF, the EU and numerous individual governments are using this crisis as an excuse to sell off all our public institutions at rock-bottom prices to private interests where they will inevitably require subsidising at a higher rate than before privatisation and we'll still have to pay through the nose to access them. In the meantime it's time for another round of Quantative Easing to prop up the poor old banks who have already cost us trillions (literally).

Would last week be too early or would they like a little time to pack?

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Greg
25 Oct

Repetition

Too bad posters don't read other comments before repeating the same comments over and over again (Iceland is not in EU, the writer messed up the facts and has poor style.) Why keep saying what has already been said. Boring to read these repeated mindless quips. How about some original thoughts.

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evs
25 Oct

Draft of the New Icelandic Constitution

I'm not going to mention all the factual errors that are in this article! all i want to do is show you the draft of our (icelanders) new constitution in english.. check it out! http://stjornlagarad.is/other_files/stjornlagarad/Frumvarp-enska.pdf

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Anonymous
25 Oct

Wait a Second

Iceland is not in the EU

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Alan Unsworth
25 Oct

Jared Diamond Reference

I believe you meant Greenland, not Iceland. As Diamond relates, the Viking-era colonists of Greenland starved to death; however, the Icelanders are still with us.

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cloudberry27
26 Oct

Responsibility

Thank you for reporting this, yes, it doesnt have enough publicity what Iceland has done is largely swept under the carpet. However, what hasnt been adressed is the liability of the bankers, anywhere. iceland survived, great! But what about the Tchenguiz brothers and what they did? See: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/so-what-lies-at-the-heart-of-the-case-against-the-tchenguiz-boys-2240326.html

No one has been brought to account. I'm glad Iceland has survived, that is right. But these thieving bankers are still at large. One of them is related to me as it happens, and I hope he and all of his kind get what they deserve.

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Mich Vraa
26 Oct

I read the start of this piece and skipped the rest: Iceland is not a member of EU. Surprise?

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Steve
26 Oct

EU Debate...

Iceland applied to join the European Union on 16 July 2009. It's easy to see how someone could mistake that sentence to mean Iceland is now IN the union, especially when they don't realize just how lengthy of a process joining the EU actually is. Negotiations formally began 17 June 2010. Stay tuned...

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Melvin
26 Oct

Iceland

Thank you. Good informative writing, Please get the article and
information into the mainstream media.
May Peace Prevail On Earth (MPPOE)!

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The Balanced Republic
27 Oct

New Constitution for the U.S.

Admire Iceland for taking things into their own hands. Been working on anamendmendment for ourselves. We really do not need a big change:

Create a special jury of 300 randomly selected registered voters from the congressional district and have that jury elect a congressperson from within the jury. This jury-elected person will become the next Representative for that district.

If you are interested, we are working on this at The Balanced Republic.

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Guillerme
28 Oct

So Much To Do!

Good stuff! So good to have alternative media. Congrats! Keep up the good work!

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Halld
28 Oct

Errors

There are small errors in this article but a very good one indeed.

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Karen A
29 Oct

Factual Version of What Happened

A factual version of what happened can be found here: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/08/24/1010295/-Naomi-Klein-buys-into-the-Iceland-Revolution-mythos

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Semper Furious
1 Nov

The U.S. Constitution

The U.S. does not need a new Constitution, nor a constitutional convention, but rather a renewed adherance to the Constitution as it was written. Like in Iceland, private and public officials--especially politicians--need to be brought to justice for their corruption. The problem is, the FBI, Secret Service, et al. are as worthless as teats on a boar when it comes to investigating this crap and arresting the culprits. All that's left are torches, pitchforks, and tar and feathers.

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Ro
2 Nov

Interesting

Yes, this has been in the british media a little. (We get slightly more exposure, no offense)
The UK and USA is reliant upon trade and banking. Its a large/most part of their economy. So if their fail their banks, no one will trust them and their infrastructure is shattered.
But for Iceland, fishing is their biggest infrastructure. They are more of a self sufficient country, unlike the UK or USA.

But interesting points anyway.

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Vilmundur Hansen
3 Nov

Three comments wrong here

I am an Icelandar and thank you for this article. There are three things wrong . Iceland is not par member of the European Union, we nearly went bankrupt but not compleatly. Yceland war independant in 1944 not 1918.

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Doreen Agostino
3 Nov

The Icelandic Example? Nov 03.11

Broken politics and finance systems. Financial warfare. Rule of whose law? The Icelandic Example? http://youtu.be/UK8k5ST4zWU

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Jose Fritz
4 Nov

The Greatest Story Never Told

More countries will have to do this, it is inevitable.

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Mila
4 Nov

A Small Correction

900 percent means 9 times the GNP and 200 times is much bigger than that. Did you really mean so? refering to the following paragraph.

"In 2003 Iceland

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Ander
5 Nov

Protests Still in Iceland

You can see here on this video when the Presidents joined the protesters, while members of parliament and the President were pelted with eggs.
She had no Security.

http://iceland-dori.blogspot.com/2011/10/protest-today-in-iceland-and-members-of.html

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David
7 Nov

Let He Without Sin

When countries as stated Holland UK demand their loans be honoured its easy to think that the governments or banks are in conspiracy yet easy to
forget the money loaned came from Dutch and British savers,the painful fact is we all bought into a currupt system and allowed this to happen worldwide as long as the high interest we was paid kept rolling in, we allowed the banks this freedom and we never questioned our governments. now things must change and the banking system be brought under control,but let us not forget the part we all played in turning a blind eye to what was going on around us.

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Anyoldiron
7 Nov

I Wish We Were NOT IN THE EU Either

I look at Greece, Ireland, Itally, Portugal, Spain and then I look at our own Governnment here in the UK, and then listen to the Heads of France and Germany then back again to the riots, unrest, the sit ins, and wonder what the heck we are paying our own governments for. For if we stay in the European Union, they can never govern according to their own constitutions. They will never be FREE to govern their own Country, and the eU wiill make sure they will never be able to defend it either. NEVER.

So, if these countries remain in the European Union, what on earth are we voting for our own Government's for, and more importantly WHAT ARE WE CONTINUING TO PAY THEM FOR when they too can only obey EU orders?

Iceland should indeed be NEWS-BUT IT IS NOT and for those headlines along, if nothing else was well worth reading, for it should be being brought home to each and every one that reads it, if there was no European Union , each country would have the authority (Sovereignty) to deal with problems themselves-our MP's would have to do the job we elected them to do, and they would not be required to prance around the World stage vbecause they would be too busy governing their own Country.

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anonymous
8 Nov

SECRET GOV HDQRTS WTC 1 and 2 and WTC 7

The Secret Government PBS 1987 Bill Moyers - http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2959771621270756635

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Mia
8 Nov

justmi@safe-mail.net

A very good article and I will forward it to letter@dailymail.co.uk and letters@guardian.co.uk to let them see what people are reading....Also I would like to recommend readers to google Roger Hayes re a new type of banking system which charges no interest, even on mortgages and it is ready to rock n roll!

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robert thomas
8 Nov

Factually Incorrect

This is completely wrong:

"negotiated a two million one hundred thousand dollar loan, to which the Nordic countries added another two and a half million"

Why are these numbers so easily accepted. Its a ridiculous story if this is all that supports it.

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micko47 Verified user
8 Nov

why iceland is not in the news

The people who caused all this own the media so they are not going to tell you what to do to avoid getting caught in their trap It is great to see that there is people in this world who cant be had by these gangster bankers I live in Ireland we were sold out by our drunken politicans.long may you live Iceland

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percy
22 Jun

Micko47

The elite have smartened up, with the drop of 50% readership and viewship in the MSM, they powers that be have begun manipulating some of the alternative press to do their work for them. Truthout. org is one of them. If they reported this, then this is bogus and is being used to manipulate us for some reason.

I do not know what reason, but it makes sense they would not give us so easily if this were true. I believe they are still under the control of the bankers. I saw what they did to other countries that would not play along and thus, Iceland is being used with disinformation for some reason.

lets watch and see before we assume anything. This is what happens when you can't trust any of your institutions to tell the truth, anymore.



greg
9 Nov

Makes Me Want to Move There

I live in the good ole USSA. this makes me proud that there are those that stand up and makes me want to move there and stand with them.

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Malcom
9 Nov

Billions! Not Millions

It appears that you should be saying billions instead of millions.

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Amen
9 Nov

Amen to that

I recall all these shenanigans occurring with Iceland & I was so proud of their resolve. Yet, the media has seen fit to eliminate this from our memories, or at least from our frequently experienced sensory stimulation; truly, in exchange for more valuable fare...such as Michael Jackson, Tiger Woods & Amy Winehouse.

The Main Stream Media, like the Governments & the Corporate heads & Banksters are our common enemies. That unholy alliance needs to be recognized as the real perpetrators of evil. What was that term Bush used...Axis of Evil! Yeah thats them, to a tee!

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Simple Truth
9 Nov

Your Personal Power - confirmed by Iceland

People around the WORLD.
You are the ultimate control of your destiny.
If you don't buy, listen to, agreed with, fear, the financial controllers - they are powerless, period.
Their threats are hollow.
Their power is illusion.
Their money is illusion.
Their future is ending.
The time has come for the World to jail the financiers that have ruined so many people's lives, children's lives, people's health, jobs, etc.

Remember, you have are part of the masses.
The masses control the country's destiny.
Not the 1% at the top.
They can't even control themselves.

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Tom Sullivan
9 Nov

Correction

Iceland is not an EU member. It applied to join in 2009 but has not yet acceded. However, it is a member of the EFTA (European Free Trade Area).

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Nico Mansy
9 Nov

Billions, not millions

The author is confusing millions for billions.

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Jason J. Bowman
10 Nov

This needs to happen in Canada - and elsewhere - KUDOS!

Thanks for this great (and inspiring) piece. This needs to happen everywhere oppression still plagues free societies. Http://livefree-chooseoptionc.tk is a site I run where I try to tell the truth and inspire civil disobedience and peaceful change. I am inspired by what our brothers and sisters in Iceland have achieved! Let this be an example to us all!

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Lord Gaga
10 Nov

Stryker

Hard to believe Stryker is a professional writer. While the sentiments and aim in writing this article are laudable it is littered with misnomers, half-truths and inaccuracies.

Shame, it could have been an informative and educative read - because I identify factual mistakes as I read I'm sorry to say I dismiss the while as uncorroborated hogwash.

Stryker, shame on you and those who fund your ineptitude.

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