The Null Device

Whither Iceland? (2)

The Independent reports from Iceland, formerly the happiest country in Europe, now economically bankrupt, and its government having resigned today:
There is no word from the government yet on how it plans to repair the damage. What does that mean for the man on the streets of a country whose coffers are empty? Are we talking soup kitchens, sheltered housing and begging on street corners? Far from it. If you're as comfortable as Iceland was, the rot has its work cut out before it emerges on the surface.
On Friday morning, human rights campaigner and protest organiser Hordur Torfason told a chilling anecdote to illustrate the desperation many Icelanders are feeling. He had received a phone call from a man who said that four generations of his family had lost everything. "He wanted me to help them build a gallows in front of the parliament building," says Torfason. "I asked him if this was to have some symbolic significance. 'No,' came the answer. 'A member of my family wants to hang himself in public.'"
The seas are full of fish, geothermal energy and natural gas are abundant. Oil prospecting is beginning. But there is a risk that Iceland will give its riches away in a fire sale to the same Vikings who have already half-sunk the nation once.
Meanwhile, even though a large part of Iceland's economic collapse could arguably be attributed to Britain hastily freezing Icelandic assets under anti-terrorism legislation, Icelanders have managed to donate jumpers, socks and blankets to the freezing pensioners of the northern English city of Hull.

There are 1 comments on "Whither Iceland? (2)":

Posted by: Greg Wed Jan 28 11:06:07 2009

Neither a borrower nor a lender be.

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