All International subcategories:
Iceland debt crisis: Make the 'dirt bags' pay!
ATTEMPTS TO make Iceland's population of 320,000 pay £11,000 each to bail out the bankers, has run into the buffers.
All three of Iceland's banks collapsed in October 2008, having been privatised in 2005. Nearly 400,000 savers in Britain and the Netherlands had accounts with one of them, Landsbanki, through its internet arm, Icesave. The British and Dutch governments compensated these savers and the Icelandic government agreed to repay the £3.5 billion involved. This is a colossal amount for a small country that is one of the most indebted in the world and amounts to 40% of Iceland's GDP.
The original plan agreed by the Icelandic parliament last August put a cap of 6% of GDP on any payment with payments spread over a 15 year period.
This was rejected by the British and Dutch governments and a new far more stringent plan only narrowly passed through parliament after a heated debate at the end of December.
The response from most Icelanders has been outrage at the bankers, bosses and politicians. In a poll 70% opposed the plan and a petition signed by 15,000, 25% of the electorate, called on the country's president not to sign the latest swingeing repayment plan. In a mighty shock to the establishment he didn't sign it. A referendum is likely to be held in March.
As one Icelander commented: "Why is attention not being paid to the criminals responsible, to the dirt bags living in fancy apartments in London? Why aren't we grabbing that money and taking it back?"
Icelanders are already suffering rising unemployment (which was non-existent before the crisis), pay cuts, cuts in services, tax rises and pension funds that are worthless and there is more to come. These vicious repayments can only exacerbate the situation.
Mass protest a year ago forced the resignation of the government. The new government is a coalition between the Social Democratic Alliance and the Left-Green Movement but the cost of the crisis is still expected to be paid by those who had no part in creating it and they will become a slave to the IMF into the bargain.
It is not hard to imagine why the British government, and every other government, is worried about the outcome of the referendum. If a similar referendum were to be held in Britain, or any other country, what would the result be?
Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777
Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206
Regional Socialist Party organisers:
Eastern: 079 8202 1969
East Mids: 077 3797 8057
London: 020 8988 8786
North East: 078 4114 4890
North West 079 5437 6096
South West: 077 5979 6478
Southern: 078 3368 1910
Wales: 079 3539 1947
West Mids: 024 7655 5620
Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041