On the coming 9th of April the people of Iceland vote on the question of saying YES or NO to an agreement on “Icesave”

04.04.2011 - Rekyjavik - Pressenza IPA

The background story:

When the British outlet of Landsbankinn went bankrupt in 2008 along with the mother bank in Iceland, the British authorities became terrified and compensated in full all those who put their money in this dubious account. This they did out of fear that if not, people would stop putting trust in the banks and withdraw their money and thereby put the whole banking system at risk. Now the British authorities are putting pressure on the Icelandic people, demanding that they pay them back the money that they volunteered.

The Icelandic government has taken sides with the British Government and in accordance with this it has made an agreement three times to pay the British back. The President of Iceland Olafur Ragnar Grimsson has each time refused to sign the laws authorising the government to make this deal on behalf of the Icelandic people. According to the Icelandic Constitution this means that the law automatically goes for a Referendum. Last time, on the 6th of March 2010 the Icelandic nation voted in a Referendum on the Icesave Agreement, 2% said yes and 98% said no to this agreement. In spite of this clear will of the nation the Government kept on its track and now it is offering another agreement with the British authorities. This agreement is better for Iceland than the last one but still it means to accept the liability of the Icelandic people. Many are tired and also the Government has used its time to paint a picture of the terrible consequences for the Icelandic people if they say no again. They say that Iceland will become isolated in the family of nations and the financial world will reject Iceland and it will destroy the economy.

A hot debate in Iceland on the issue of Icesave and the referendum on the 9th of April:

The Referendum on Iceland is due on the 9th of April. There is a hot debate in the country on this issue. On the one hand people who want to say yes and take up the Government´s argument that Iceland must go forward and not be on bad terms with the financial powers, even though there is no legal or ethical reason to accept liability. They maintain that Iceland needs to open again to the flow of borrowed capital to boost the economy. Those who say no say that the nation should not bow to the threats of the international financial world and pay for mistakes of the money lords. They maintain that the people in Iceland should give a good example for other nations and say no to taking responsibility for the failures of the banking system.

The Humanist Party in Iceland is one of many groups and individuals fighting for “Nei við Icesave” No to Icesave. The HP has start a Poster Campaign based on a poster from Quentin Tarantino’s film Inglourious Basterds. The three gangsters in the poster are main owners of the biggest banks in Iceland that went bankrupt. In the background the main character is David Oddson, Prime Minister of Iceland along with Valgerdur Sverrisdottir, Minister of Banking at the time the banks were privatized in the year 2002 which started this unfortunate process.

The poster tells the story of the chain of events that finally led to the big financial crash of the Icelandic economy. As it says in the text of the poster: “An ugly story of savage and rampant looting” ….. “A group of financial gangsters and corrupt politicians have infiltrated Iceland to suck up people´s pensions and plunder the banks. This gang, along with International Financial Capital, is forcing the people of Iceland to pay the bill.” The message of the poster is: “Let Them Pay” and “No to Icesave”

Categories: Economics, Europe, International

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