Iceland: A portent of the future + Street protests against government and economic meltdown

Dandelion Salad

by Chris Marsden
http://www.wsws.org
29 November 2008

Iceland is facing a social and economic catastrophe. Its 300,000 people have suffered the worst and most immediate impact of the worldwide financial crisis of any advanced country.

For that reason, the events in Iceland offer a portent of developments that must inevitably unfold in much larger nations and on the international arena.

Iceland’s banking system has collapsed, plunging its entire economy into an accelerating decline. In the space of seven days in October, its three major banks became insolvent and the government was forced to step in and take them over. The Brown Labour government in Britain used anti-terror laws in an effort to force the return of hundreds of millions invested there by individuals, company’s pension schemes, local councils, charities and police forces—much of which will not be retrieved.

The scale of the losses was due to Iceland’s efforts to become a centre for global speculative investments, primarily by linking bank rates to inflation, which exceeded 15 percent. Its banks offered rates often 50 percent higher than available elsewhere.

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via Iceland: A portent of the future

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Iceland: Street protests against government and economic meltdown

By Jordan Shilton
http://www.wsws.org
29 November 2008

Thousands protested in the Icelandic capital Reykjavik last Saturday, calling for the resignation of the government and for early elections. The protest follows weeks of unrest on the streets, in the aftermath of the banking collapse last month that left the economy in meltdown.

Protestors gathered to demand the release of a fellow demonstrator who had been held by police from the previous day. After demonstrating in front of the parliament (Althingi), several hundred protestors proceeded to the main police station where violent clashes took place. Police used pepper spray against demonstrators, and it was reported that at least five people were taken to hospital with injuries.

[…]

via Iceland: Street protests against government and economic meltdown

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Prisoner released in Reykjavik – Iceland 22 November 2008

dorisig

Protesters demanded that Mr. Haukur Hilmarson should be released –
He is the guy that put on the Parliament building the Bonus flag a few Saturdays ago.
The protesters attack Police HQ in Reykjavik first – but the riot police got them out – but then suddenly – the prisoner was released.