06 January 2010

Iceland Chills

The story from Iceland is interesting; the Guardian explains in, "Iceland president vetoes collapsed Icesave Bank's bill to UK" that,

"Iceland was plunged back into crisis after its president refused to sign a bill promising to repay [eh? repay??? somewhat biased article here, anyway ...] more than €3.8bn (£3.4bn) to Britain and the Netherlands after the collapse of the country's Icesave bank in 2008."

But why should the Icelandic taxpayer be on the hook for this debt? It doesn't have anything to do with them. In the comments section of a closely related story from the Times,

" R. Gunnarsson wrote:

Another point: Icesave money was not being handed out to Icelanders like candy at Christmas time. Much of it was directed into misguided business ventures in England. The Icelandic bankers and their friends had a habit of buying UK businesses at ridiculously inflated prices, in many cases from british owners. They used the banks to finance these ventures, and when money became scarce they offered higher interest rates to lure in more deposits. Most of the Icesave money therefore never really left England but ended up in the pockets of british businessmen.

The idea that it is now time for the common Icelander to "shut up and cough up" shows a complete lack of understanding of the facts.

Bear in mind that this is the sort of thing that could lead to a UK debt default which is becoming increasingly likely.

At least the Icelandic President, Olafur Grimsson, is not behaving in the same manner as Siad Barre. Instead of using force to collect a debt imposed upon the Icelanders, he's giving them a choice as to whether or not they want to pay.

It's very disturbing that the UK gov expect the Icelandic gov to treat the Icelandic people as chattel and are quite willing to abuse the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 (c.24).

What scum.

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