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View Full Version : Iceland Is Sacrificed to Save EU: Shame on Britain and Holland



Nachtengel
Monday, December 7th, 2009, 05:17 AM
From the desk of Hjörtur J. Guðmundsson on Sat, 2009-12-05 11:10

The European Union, in order to save itself from the faults of its own legislation, has decided that Iceland and the Icelandic people are expendable. Realising its own failures the EU has decided, through the British and Dutch governments, that the Icelandic authorities have to shoulder the responsibility which is rightfully the EU regulators’. This is what the so-called Icesave dispute is mainly about.

The dispute started in October 2008 when almost the entire Icelandic banking system collapsed. One of the three largest Icelandic banks, Landsbanki, had operated internet savings accounts in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands collecting large amounts of deposits by offering high interest rates. These accounts were operated with the approval of the British and Dutch authorities and their operation was made possible by EU laws.

Immediately after Landsbanki had collapsed and subsequently been taken over by the Icelandic authorities, the British and Dutch governments insisted that Icelandic state was responsible for the Icesave savings accounts. Therefore the two governments demanded that Iceland and its population of only 300,000 people compensate the billions of euros in lost savings plus interests in the UK and the Netherlands.

Responding to the demands from the British and Dutch authorities the Icelandic government in turn announced it would certainly honour its obligations but insisted that it was not clear what these obligations were exactly. The matter should therefore be resolved by a neutral court. The British and Dutch governments, however, dismissed this and instead insisted that the issue would be resolved politically and not legally.

Systemic crisis

The EU legislation in question is Directive 94/19/EC on deposit guarantee schemes which was implemented into Icelandic laws in 1999 according to the EEA Agreement between the EU and EFTA which Iceland is a member of. According to the regulation a privately run Guarantee Fund is to be operated in each country which is supposed to guarantee a minimum compensation to depositors of 20,000 euros for each account.

However, the directive does not anticipate a systemic crisis as undoubtedly occurred in Iceland in October 2008 but only a failure of a single bank. In other words there is simply no legislation in force which covers the situation that emerged in Iceland last autumn. Moreover, it should be kept in mind that the Icelandic financial sector is more or less regulated by the EU through the previously mentioned EEA Agreement.

These shortcomings of Directive 94/19/EC have been known for a long time and have on a number of occasions in recent years been recognised publicly by leading figures in the EU. This was for example mentioned in a report by the French Central Bank published in 2000 on deposits guarantee schemes which states that it is “accepted” that such schemes “are neither meant nor able to deal with systemic banking crises”.

Perhaps the most recent example of such admittance occurred on March 3 this year when the Dutch Finance Minister, Wouter Bos, said in a speech: “First and foremost, European countries need to take a close look at how the deposit guarantee scheme is organised. It was not designed to deal with a systemic crisis but with the collapse of a single bank.“ Nevertheless Bos is insisting that the scheme be applied to the Icelandic systemic crisis.

No state guarantee

Since the EU’s deposit guarantee scheme is not supposed to handle systemic crises but only the collapse of a single bank the Guarantee Fund in each country is privately run by the domestic financial institutions which are obliged to contribute a certain minimum amount of capital to it according to the range of their deposits. The individual state’s sole responsibility under the scheme is merely to see to it through legislation that such fund is established.

There is as a result no mention of a state guarantees in Directive 94/19/EC (Directive 94/19/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 1994 on deposit-guarantee schemes) for the obligations of the Guarantee Funds should they under any circumstances fail to fullfill them towards depositors. On the contrary the directive clearly states that the deposit guarantee scheme „must not consist of a guarantee granted to a credit institution by a Member State itself or by any of its local or regional authorities“.

Granting state guarantees for the Guarantee Funds in any form therefore quite simply violates EU laws. The idea behind this is that banks should not be discriminated whether they are from large or small countries. Nevertheless since the collapse of the Icelandic banks in October 2008 the British and Dutch governments have insisted that the Icelandic state is responsible for the Icelandic Guarantee Fund meeting its obligations.

Furthermore, despite the fact that no state guarantee for Guarantee Funds exists under the EU’s deposit guarantee scheme, the British and Dutch governments have been bullying the Icelandic authorities to accept that such a guarantee is nevertheless in place as mentioned earlier. They have demanded that Iceland passed laws granting such a state guarantee which alone is a proof enough that no such guarantee previously existed.

Iceland sacrificed

Leading EU people have recently admitted that at the beginning of October 2008 – at the same time when the Icelandic banks collapsed – the banking sector within the EU was facing serious collapses as well. This explains why Brussels decided that the Icelandic people should be forced to take responsibility for the faults in the EU laws. The EU simply could not admit in public that deposits in its banks were not guaranteed in the event of a collapse.

“We were a couple of days away from a complete catastrophe which would have been ten times worse than the current situation. The risk of a collapse in the European banking system was high,” admitted Finland’s Finance Minister, Jyrki Katainen, in an interview with the Finnish newspaper Savon Sanomat on September 8, 2009. The decision to sacrifice Iceland probably contributed to saving the EU banking system at the last minute.

Last summer Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir, who was Iceland’s Foreign Minister at the time when the Icelandic banks fell, said that “the main reason why it was not possible to take the matter to the courts was because there could not be any doubt that deposits were guaranteed. If it would have been agreed to get a court ruling it would have created a legal uncertainty whether there were any deposits guarantees.”

Gísladóttir said that such uncertainty would have given depositors in Spain, France or elsewhere a reason to doubt the guarantees and withdraw their savings. In other words that there would be run on EU banks. So in other words Iceland and the Icelandic people were simply sacrificed to save the EU banking system from collapses as a result of a flawed EU legislation which they are not at all responsible for.

Conclusion

The behavior by the British and Dutch governments towards Iceland is simply disgraceful. They have used the economic crisis Iceland is currently facing to try to suppress it. They are threatening to blockade Iceland’s possibilities to get loans from abroad if their outmost demands are not being met. They have also used their influence within e.g. the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to threaten the Icelandic government.

The British government even used controversial anti-terrorist legislation to freeze Icelandic assets in the UK after the Icelandic banks fell. Even assets owned by the Icelandic state which must be regarded as a direct attack on Iceland. The British government then put Iceland on a list with terrorist organisations such as Al-Qaida. And this they have done to a NATO ally. With allies like this Iceland obviously needs no enemies.

The question is who is responsible for EU legislation? Should a legislation formed and put into force by the European Union turn out to be a failure, who is responsible? It seems Iceland is! The EU simply has to recognise publicly its responsibility for the faults in its legislation and that the Icelandic people are not responsible for them. The Icesave dispute then needs to be solved in a civilised manner and not with larger countries bullying a small one.

The civilised way is to find a solution everyone can live with through a common agreement but not by the means of threats and oppression as has been the case until now. If such a solution cannot be found the only way is to take the dispute to a neutral court. Iceland has always maintained that it wants to honour its obligations regarding deposits but added that it first needs to be clarified which exactly these obligations are.

http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/4204

Renwein
Tuesday, January 5th, 2010, 08:06 PM
Iceland leader vetoes bank repayments bill

Iceland's president has refused to sign a controversial bill to repay $5bn (£3.1bn) to the UK and the Netherlands.

President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson said he would instead hold a referendum on the bill, following public protests.

"The participation of the nation in the final agreement is the only viable outcome."

The Treasury's City Minister, Lord Myners, said he shared the Icelandic parliament's disappointment, and warned the public against voting against the bill in the referendum

"The Icelandic people, if they took that decision, would effectively be saying that Iceland doesn't want to be part of the international financial system," he said. [[doesn't sound like such a bad idea to me!]]

The Dutch government said Iceland was still "compelled to pay back the money".
[[full article (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8441312.stm)]]

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/01/05/article-1240792-07BDC19E000005DC-935_468x286.jpg
'Hundreds of people gather outside Mr Grimsson's Reykjavik home to protest against the bill'

personally I think it's disgraceful that the UK and Dutch govts. are trying to force debts of 3+ billion on a country of not much more than 300,000 people, who had nothing to do with the failings of private banks, and nothing to do with the decision by greedy boneheads to send their money abroad and into 'dodgy' banks in the hope of max profit. They took the chances, they should pay the price of their loss, not the Icelandic people :|

Who cares about Iceland 'not being part of the international system' if that system looted your country and placed a debt yoke on the innocent people as a punishment to boot?
not being in the EU doesn't sound like such a bad deal to me either.

I like the President's actions, refusing to pay, letting the people decide and also his words viz. "It is the job of the president of Iceland to make sure the nation's will is answered", rhetoric of the 'will of the nation' is never a bad thing ;).

velvet
Tuesday, January 5th, 2010, 08:29 PM
Yeah, in case he actually is serious with what he says AND has the spine to stand to his words!

To have a spine though seems not to be one of the requirements of politicians. Actually it seems the requirement is to have none at all :thumbdown

I hope the Iceland people vote against that nonsense. If they voted for that bill they would vote for their own enslavement for the rest of eternity. And they better wake up now and vote against EU and the international financial Jew, eh business and keep themselves out of this madness. Obviously it isnt even required to be member of that club to be controlled and manipulated anyway.

And probably, in the public process, some more mainland Europeans wake up too and understand the actual madness of this all.

Untersberger
Tuesday, January 5th, 2010, 11:21 PM
[[full article (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fnews.bbc .co.uk%2F1%2Fhi%2Fbusiness%2F8441312.stm )]]

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/01/05/article-1240792-07BDC19E000005DC-935_468x286.jpg
'Hundreds of people gather outside Mr Grimsson's Reykjavik home to protest against the bill'

personally I think it's disgraceful that the UK and Dutch govts. are trying to force debts of 3+ billion on a country of not much more than 300,000 people, who had nothing to do with the failings of private banks, and nothing to do with the decision by greedy boneheads to send their money abroad and into 'dodgy' banks in the hope of max profit. They took the chances, they should pay the price of their loss, not the Icelandic people :|

Who cares about Iceland 'not being part of the international system' if that system looted your country and placed a debt yoke on the innocent people as a punishment to boot?
not being in the EU doesn't sound like such a bad deal to me either.

I like the President's actions, refusing to pay, letting the people decide and also his words viz. "It is the job of the president of Iceland to make sure the nation's will is answered", rhetoric of the 'will of the nation' is never a bad thing ;).

Absolutely - agree word for word. The bankers are not the people of Iceland and the Icelandic people are not responsible for greedy selfish bankers whether Icelandic or of the internationalist kind..

Linda Trostenhatten
Wednesday, January 6th, 2010, 08:28 AM
hei we just want lower interests on these damn loans that is all
public in holland and england has no problem with lower interest but stupid bureaucrats get in the way

Hersir
Wednesday, January 6th, 2010, 09:35 AM
[[full article (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8441312.stm)]]

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/01/05/article-1240792-07BDC19E000005DC-935_468x286.jpg
'Hundreds of people gather outside Mr Grimsson's Reykjavik home to protest against the bill'

personally I think it's disgraceful that the UK and Dutch govts. are trying to force debts of 3+ billion on a country of not much more than 300,000 people, who had nothing to do with the failings of private banks, and nothing to do with the decision by greedy boneheads to send their money abroad and into 'dodgy' banks in the hope of max profit. They took the chances, they should pay the price of their loss, not the Icelandic people :|

Who cares about Iceland 'not being part of the international system' if that system looted your country and placed a debt yoke on the innocent people as a punishment to boot?
not being in the EU doesn't sound like such a bad deal to me either.

I like the President's actions, refusing to pay, letting the people decide and also his words viz. "It is the job of the president of Iceland to make sure the nation's will is answered", rhetoric of the 'will of the nation' is never a bad thing ;).

Icelanders chose capitalism, they (like us) have consumer driven society. I think its good they fry alittle, maybe some people will wake up.

Sigurd
Wednesday, January 6th, 2010, 10:34 AM
not being in the EU doesn't sound like such a bad deal to me either.

That is very true. Iceland has a very small population and with the free movement of workers, it would be very quick to lose its largely homogenous character.

After the opening of the borders to the "Eastern Accession" states in 2004, it is estimated that about 1,000,000 Poles came to the UK. It is also estimated that approx. 8,000 Poles came to Iceland.

It is fairly alarming that those 8,000 Poles make up a larger proportion of the Icelandic population (approx. 2.7%) than the 1,000,000 Poles do when compared to the British population (approx. 1.7%). :|

This alone should tell us that if Iceland enters the EU, it has basically signed its death note. Anything that keeps Iceland out of the EU can only be good for the Icelanders' sake...

SaxonPagan
Thursday, January 7th, 2010, 05:00 PM
I have to say I'm fully supportive of Iceland in its battle against the EU/IMF bully-boys and here is another excellent article on the subject ...

By Birgitta Jonsdottir 1-6-10

Note -- Birgitta Jonsdottir is the leader of The Movement, a group within the Icelandic Parliament which has emerged from the mass struggle of Icelanders against the financial blackmail brought to bear against their country by the governments in London and The Hague, with the backing of the IMF, in the wake of the insolvency of three large Icelandic banks in the midst of the Lehman Brothers-AIG world financial panic of September-October2008. Birgitta Jonsdottir is a courageous leader in the fight for national sovereignty, independence, dignity, and the economic well-being and future of her country.

January 5, 2010 is a historical day for Icelanders. The Icelandic President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson had a tough decision to make, and difficult choices to make. To listen to the 23% of the nation that signed a petition calling on him to put the state guarantee for 5.4 billion dollars to be paid to the British and Dutch governments to a national referendum.

Or to ignore the nation and sign the bill for the government, after the bill had been passed through the parliament with a narrow vote on December 30, 2009 after months of acrimonious debate, tainted with secrecy and dishonesty on the part of the government. Every day throughout the debate, new information would emerge and documents would leak to local media or wikileaks.

Yesterday, the people of Iceland finally had a chance to have something to say about their fate, because if the state guarantee is accepted it will mean that Iceland will become like a third world country, spending its GDP largely on paying interest on foreign debt. Last summer, a bill for a state guarantee was passed that had a significant meaning not only for Iceland, but also for other nations around the world facing the same problems of private debt being forced on taxpayers.

The bill included a reasonable and fair way of handling the interest and the debt: Icelanders would pay, but only a certain percentage of their GDP, and if there were to be another financial black hole, they would not pay during that time. Thus it comes as no surprise that the Dutch and British governments reacted so swiftly with a condemnation of Iceland's citizens for having the audacity to think they have the right to exercise their democratic rights in deciding for themselves what is in the best economic interests of their nation.

Let's also put this debt into perspective: 320.000 people live in Iceland, each and every person on the island, including children and the elderly, the disabled and the poor, would have to pay around $30,000 under the bill. The danger if Icelanders will accept this enormous burden is that the entire welfare system would simply collapse with no money to run it. On January 5th the Icelandic president had the courage, backed up by his nation, to place the interest of the people before that of the banks.

Of course there has been an incredible spin by the government controlled media, attacking the nation and the president for this simple and fair demand. The UK and Dutch media were also full of misleading news, saying the nation had demanded not to pay, and that we would become isolated and there were even suggestions that the British navy should flex its muscles against this nation which has no military. As if the terrorist act they imposed on us was not enough during the darkest hour of our crises to bring us further down!

The spin is failing because people around the world are finally starting to hear our side of the story, and other suppressed nations have perhaps seen this as a sign that they can also rise up against the corpocracy in our world where those with the money have as a rule always won. Let's hope the nation will not been coaxed into fear of isolation and let's hope the people of the world will join in this experiment of letting the interest of the peoples rise above the interests of banks, corporations, and international bullies such as the IMF. We need your support. I will soon issue a comprehensive report on the entire Icesave saga.

Love and rage from Iceland
Birgitta Jonsdottir
Party group chairman for The Movement in the Icelandic Parliament

From the following source:
http://www.rense.com/general89/dottr.htm

Oxygen
Thursday, January 14th, 2010, 03:43 AM
Birgitta Jónsdóttir on Alex Jones 13 januari, 2010
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wca0-2HGu-I
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIQ9Cj4GagA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDUIPVGKKzw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exMnPR5J1l0

John Perkins on Icelandic Tv
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMcJflvA7GQ

Keiser Report №7: speaks to Icelandic activist Johannes G. Skulason about the financial crisis
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dP_2jXlo3JI

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solkorset
Friday, January 15th, 2010, 04:34 PM
I wish Iceland all well and support them 100% in this battle. I also wish Norway would help Iceland more and show solidarity with our kin. After all, most icelanders descend from norwegian emigrants. And they have preserved our old norse culture. But norwegian politicians are cowards and pawns like the rest.

Let the f****** bankers in GB and Holland lose "their" money, I cheer! Down with capitalism, high finance, usury and slavery! And with the EU, not to forget.

Sigurd
Friday, January 15th, 2010, 04:46 PM
I also wish Norway would help Iceland more and show solidarity with our kin.

Yes, this is a sad truth. We are shown so much of supposed suffering around the world that we are supposed to forget to see actual suffering of a kindred nation when it occurs. The cowardly politicians only care for getting a patting on their backs for doing something that the bleeding-heart liberals approve but look away when it's their closest kin that's in need. :(

You can bet that the amount of monetary support that Norwegian politicians will send to Haiti for those "poor, poor recently homeless Blacks" will surpass the solidarity payments to Iceland at least tenfold. Then again, nothing much to expect, it's the same in most European countries. Like Germany would support Austria or the other way around. :|