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Old 08-27-2011, 04:23 PM   #1
Duder1no
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Exclamation Iceland overthrows government, banks; media suppresses news

This should be making headlines worldwide yet it isn't.

The revolution will not be televised.

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Since 2008 the vast majority of the Western population dream about saying "no" to the banks, but no one has dared to do so. No one except the Icelanders, who have carried out a peaceful revolution that has managed not only to overthrow a government and draft a new constitution, but also seeks to jail those responsible for the country's economic debacle.

Last week 9 people were arrested in London and Reykjavik for their possible responsibility for Iceland’s financial collapse in 2008, a deep crisis which developed into an unprecedented public reaction that is changing the country's direction.

It has been a revolution without weapons in Iceland, the country that hosts the world's oldest democracy (since 930), and whose citizens have managed to effect change by going on demonstrations and banging pots and pans. Why have the rest of the Western countries not even heard about it?

Pressure from Icelandic citizens’ has managed not only to bring down a government, but also begin the drafting of a new constitution (in process) and is seeking to put in jail those bankers responsible for the financial crisis in the country. As the saying goes, if you ask for things politely it is much easier to get them.

This quiet revolutionary process has its origins in 2008 when the Icelandic government decided to nationalise the three largest banks, Landsbanki, Kaupthing and Glitnir, whose clients were mainly British, and North and South American.

After the State took over, the official currency (krona) plummeted and the stock market suspended its activity after a 76% collapse. Iceland was becoming bankrupt and to save the situation, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) injected U.S. $ 2,100 million and the Nordic countries helped with another 2,500 million.

Great little victories of ordinary people

While banks and local and foreign authorities were desperately seeking economic solutions, the Icelandic people took to the streets and their persistent daily demonstrations outside parliament in Reykjavik prompted the resignation of the conservative Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde and his entire government.

Citizens demanded, in addition, to convene early elections, and they succeeded. In April a coalition government was elected, formed by the Social Democratic Alliance and the Left Green Movement, headed by a new Prime Minister, Jóhanna Sigurđardóttir.

Throughout 2009 the Icelandic economy continued to be in a precarious situation (at the end of the year the GDP had dropped by 7%) but, despite this, the Parliament proposed to repay the debt to Britain and the Netherlands with a payment of 3,500 million Euros, a sum to be paid every month by Icelandic families for 15 years at 5.5% interest.

The move sparked anger again in the Icelanders, who returned to the streets demanding that, at least, that decision was put to a referendum. Another big small victory for the street protests: in March 2010 that vote was held and an overwhelming 93% of the population refused to repay the debt, at least with those conditions.

This forced the creditors to rethink the deal and improve it, offering 3% interest and payment over 37 years. Not even that was enough. The current president, on seeing that Parliament approved the agreement by a narrow margin, decided last month not to approve it and to call on the Icelandic people to vote in a referendum so that they would have the last word.

The bankers are fleeing in fear

Returning to the tense situation in 2010, while the Icelanders were refusing to pay a debt incurred by financial sharks without consultation, the coalition government had launched an investigation to determine legal responsibilities for the fatal economic crisis and had already arrested several bankers and top executives closely linked to high risk operations.

Interpol, meanwhile, had issued an international arrest warrant against Sigurdur Einarsson, former president of one of the banks. This situation led scared bankers and executives to leave the country en masse.

In this context of crisis, an assembly was elected to draft a new constitution that would reflect the lessons learned and replace the current one, inspired by the Danish constitution.

To do this, instead of calling experts and politicians, Iceland decided to appeal directly to the people, after all they have sovereign power over the law. More than 500 Icelanders presented themselves as candidates to participate in this exercise in direct democracy and write a new constitution. 25 of them, without party affiliations, including lawyers, students, journalists, farmers and trade union representatives were elected.

Among other developments, this constitution will call for the protection, like no other, of freedom of information and expression in the so-called Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, in a bill that aims to make the country a safe haven for investigative journalism and freedom of information, where sources, journalists and Internet providers that host news reporting are protected.

The people, for once, will decide the future of the country while bankers and politicians witness the transformation of a nation from the sidelines.
http://pressenza.com/npermalink/icel...for-the-crisis
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Old 08-27-2011, 04:29 PM   #2
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Iceland better not need to borrow any money for the next hundred years, because I don't think these people understand that no one will give it to them.
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Old 08-27-2011, 04:35 PM   #3
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Iceland better not need to borrow any money for the next hundred years, because I don't think these people understand that no one will give it to them.
Don't worry, true Ferengi never pass up an opportunity for profit. Iceland will be able to get loans if they truly want them. Whoever fulfills that role will have to think twice before being anything less than honest and/or transparent about it.
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Old 08-27-2011, 04:50 PM   #4
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With all due respect, your so-called revolution is just a bunch of people electing to take the deadbeat route. Iceland benefited enormously from it's liberatarian style basically unregulated banking system, then when it failed -taking down enormous amounts of money from the citizens of Great Britain, among others, the people of Iceland refused to step up and pay off the debts their government guaranteed.

IMO Iceland should be thrown out of the EU and left to be the tiny nation of poor alcoholic suicides it was before.

Get enough Icelands together and the EU will collapse. Only an idiot would want that.
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Old 08-27-2011, 05:08 PM   #5
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You may be right but when I said "Revolution" it was alluding the fact that people can create change if they really want to.
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Old 08-27-2011, 05:11 PM   #6
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It's hard to get excited about what amounts to the politics of a city in demographic terms.

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Iceland benefited enormously from it's liberatarian style basically unregulated banking system, then when it failed -taking down enormous amounts of money from the citizens of Great Britain, among others, the people of Iceland refused to step up and pay off the debts their government guaranteed.
When private enterprises fail there's no reason the population of the country its in should enslave themselves. Do you think corporate shareholders should be responsible for the debts of a corporation?
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Old 08-27-2011, 05:19 PM   #7
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It's hard to get excited about what amounts to the politics of a city in demographic terms.



When private enterprises fail there's no reason the population of the country its in should enslave themselves. Do you think corporate shareholders should be responsible for the debts of a corporation?
Isn't the mantra over here "Privatize profits, socialize losses"? I for one think that is quite lopsided. If the shareholders reap the profits, they should be held responsible for the losses. Thats capitalism, right?
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Old 08-27-2011, 05:24 PM   #8
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The start of a western (or USA) version of the Arab Spring Revolution? It seems like the Tea Party is pushing us there more and more, only not in the way they want it where the rich gets richer and the middle class evaporates.
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Old 08-27-2011, 05:24 PM   #9
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It's an interesting story, I'd like to see the part that's missing.
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Old 08-27-2011, 05:52 PM   #10
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This is not breaking news, it's been an ongoing process but an exceptionally tiny country. It is interesting, though.
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Old 08-27-2011, 05:55 PM   #11
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Isn't the mantra over here "Privatize profits, socialize losses"?
I don't think anyone actually likes that. Many conservatives would have been fine with the 2008 banks failing.

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If the shareholders reap the profits, they should be held responsible for the losses. Thats capitalism, right?
No, maybe people are missing that corporations exist to shelter shareholders from liability. All you lose is your investment. You don't take on personal debt. That is the raison d'etre of corporations.
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Old 08-27-2011, 06:00 PM   #12
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No, maybe people are missing that corporations exist to shelter shareholders from liability. All you lose is your investment. You don't take on personal debt. That is the raison d'etre of corporations.
So then why should an entire nation be responsible for the losses of a few? (serious question)
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Old 08-27-2011, 06:02 PM   #13
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So then why should an entire nation be responsible for the losses of a few? (serious question)

Maybe you missed the part where I said:

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When private enterprises fail there's no reason the population of the country its in should enslave themselves.
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Old 08-27-2011, 06:19 PM   #14
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I was just asking why under the law this was happening. I wasn't trying to say you personally were for.
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Old 08-27-2011, 06:28 PM   #15
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I was just asking why under the law this was happening. I wasn't trying to say you personally were for.
Because the government of Iceland borrowed that money from the IMF & other nations in order to bail out a few corporations. The IMF and other nations wouldn't have bailed out those corporations directly, but the nation of Iceland put their credit on the line to make it happen.
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Old 08-27-2011, 07:00 PM   #16
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Interesting developments.
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Old 08-27-2011, 07:04 PM   #17
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This is not breaking news, it's been an ongoing process but an exceptionally tiny country. It is interesting, though.
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Interesting developments.
As Doppel said, this is not exactly breaking news. The article is from March. Do you get all your news from blogs and P&N?
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Old 08-27-2011, 07:10 PM   #18
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As Doppel said, this is not exactly breaking news. The article is from March. Do you get all your news from blogs and P&N?
I just am now hearing about it, sorry.
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Old 08-27-2011, 07:13 PM   #19
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They are probably the only smart western country out there.

I wish we would have let all these banks fail. All of them.
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Old 08-27-2011, 07:13 PM   #20
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They are probably the only smart western country out there.

I wish we would have let all these banks fail. All of them.
They didn't really let them fail. They stepped in and nationalized the banks.
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Old 08-27-2011, 08:44 PM   #21
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Don't worry, true Ferengi never pass up an opportunity for profit. Iceland will be able to get loans if they truly want them. Whoever fulfills that role will have to think twice before being anything less than honest and/or transparent about it.
surely they'll get them, and then not repay them again.
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Old 08-27-2011, 09:43 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Thump553 View Post
With all due respect, your so-called revolution is just a bunch of people electing to take the deadbeat route. Iceland benefited enormously from it's liberatarian style basically unregulated banking system, then when it failed -taking down enormous amounts of money from the citizens of Great Britain, among others, the people of Iceland refused to step up and pay off the debts their government guaranteed.

IMO Iceland should be thrown out of the EU and left to be the tiny nation of poor alcoholic suicides it was before.

Get enough Icelands together and the EU will collapse. Only an idiot would want that.
If the government guaranteed them then how is that libertarian? That was their mistake.

Good for the Icelanders, better to start over with nothing than with bankers debt on your back.

Last edited by matt0611; 08-27-2011 at 09:46 PM.
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Old 08-27-2011, 11:13 PM   #23
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They are probably the only smart western country out there.

I wish we would have let all these banks fail. All of them.
What we need to do is not let the banks fail, it's to shrink and regulate them.

The fact we didn't let them have a real blackmail power over the economy.
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Old 08-27-2011, 11:16 PM   #24
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If the government guaranteed them then how is that libertarian? That was their mistake.
No, the mistake was 'Libertarian' policies allowing the banks to become 'too big to fail' and pursue corrupt and excessively risky policies endangering the economy.

Bailing them out wasn't a 'mistake', it was simply the ransom the banks could demand because of the errors allowing them to get to the point they had.
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Old 08-27-2011, 11:44 PM   #25
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No, the mistake was 'Libertarian' policies allowing the banks to become 'too big to fail' and pursue corrupt and excessively risky policies endangering the economy.

Bailing them out wasn't a 'mistake', it was simply the ransom the banks could demand because of the errors allowing them to get to the point they had.
Wrong, government guaranteeing anything always creates a moral hazard.
And if these banks were indeed "corrupt" and committing illegal acts then the government failed at stopping them.
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