Sunday, April 10, 2011

Why I said NO to Icesave

It is important to note the following relatively simple facts in relation to Iceland and Icesave

1. I was part of the leadership from all parties that put together guidelines for what had to be in the new contract between the three nations. One of our demands (the Movement) in order for us to be able to say yes was that the three nations would share the risk if the assets of old Landsbanki would not cover 90% - 100% of the so called debt created by the bank owners. Neither Holland nor the UK were willing to share the risk with us.

2. If issues related to the contract would arise and be taken to court the new contract states that it would be taken to court in Holland. It should have been in a court outside all three countries.

3. I have not met a single NO voter that wants the Icesave burden to be shouldered by taxpayers in any of the three countries. We want the people who stole the money to be held accountable. They still invest and have large companies in their names. We wanted the three countries to collaborate in order to reclaim the money from the white collar criminals.

4. It is high time to set an example for other taxpayers in other countries in order for them to follow suit: to say NO to the socialization of private debt. It is unacceptable that the untouchables rake in the profits without sharing with the rest of us and then expect us to pay for their reckless behavior.

5. The Icelandic people want this case to go to court, if the ESA court rules that the general public should be held accountable for banks that collapse, then we will pay. But to accept this debt without clear understanding on this big issue would be insane.

6. Taxpayers in the UK and Holland will not have to pay this, if all our governments will really put all their efforts to get the money from the people that took the money that was put in the Icesave accounts. The money in the Icesave accounts was real, depositors put it in the Icesave accounts but where is it? I know for a fact that Björgólfur Thor the main owner of Landsbanki the host of Icesave still has large shares in companies in Iceland that are doing really well, those companies with the shares are registered at offshore islands. Time for him to show us the money and pay it back. Let us not forget that spokespeople for the YES in all three countries claim that the assets will cover this.

7. If we would have said yes yesterday, it would have meant that we would have had to pay 29 billion Icelandic Kronas around the middle of this month only in interest. That is unrecoverable money in foreign currency we simply cant afford while it is not clear by legal standards of the EEA if taxpayers should bail out banks.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am not an Icelander, but I have been following your country's story very closely and am very pleased to hear the great people of Iceland are still fighting and still making ground for freedom against all odds. I am deeply inspired by what you and your supporters are doing, and I hope people in other countries take a page from your book in their own struggles. I wish you all the very best luck. Peace and love from New Zealand.

gyg3s said...

When you write, "This money was real, where is it?" shouldn't that be ...

"If This money was real, ...?"

Anonymous said...

Icelandic people should not be paying for the misdeeds of companies both in Iceland and outside.

I'm sad to see that America is such a failed state that we bailed out these companies that then sent their executives on lavish retreats and gave them bonuses to boot. "Inside Job" is a great movie to watch in this respect.

Right now, Iceland is the shining beacon of an educated liberated people who have stood up to corporations, and prevailed. Bravo. Keep it up.

KIRIAKOS TOBRAS said...

We applaud Iceland citizens referendum NO vote to the UK & Netherland banks compensation scheme.
Why should they have to pay up for the misdeeds of the Icelandic corrupted politicians and fraudulent bankers ?
Did they were participating to their previous profits ?
Banks, Funds & Private Investors who put their cash into EU bankrupt banks & junk Government Bonds, knew they were taking a high risk, as they were receiving interest rates well above the average market rate.
Why should the general public of EU, entirely unconnected to the banking & financial sectors, be expected to compensate Investment Banks, Funds & Private Investors losses or stump up the money that EU politicians spent trying to buy votes?
This is the reason we suggest to all Greek Citizens to follow Iceland’s example, asking for a similar referendum in Greece.
We’re sure that Greek NO vote should be higher than 90%.
Follow us at www.stopspeculators.gr.
Dr. Kiriakos Tobras

Anonymous said...

: )) Simplemente envidiable en la sformas y las actitudes del pueblo Islandes ante el expolio que se pretende.

Deberia ser un Tribunal Popular Europeo y no solo de la Union, quien valorase la posicion Islandesa, y no la parte interesada.

Un gobierno esta obligado a equilibrar los abusos de poder y las posicions dominantes, y eso hoy es estar al lado de los ciudadanos, ante la avaricia sin limites de las corporaciones.

Un ejemplo,los ciudadanos Islandeses

Zurko said...

: )) Simplemente envidiable en la sformas y las actitudes del pueblo Islandes ante el expolio que se pretende.

Deberia ser un Tribunal Popular Europeo y no solo de la Union, quien valorase la posicion Islandesa, y no la parte interesada.

Un gobierno esta obligado a equilibrar los abusos de poder y las posicions dominantes, y eso hoy es estar al lado de los ciudadanos, ante la avaricia sin limites de las corporaciones.

Un ejemplo,los ciudadanos Islandeses

Oswald_Was_A_Leftist said...

Congratulations to Iceland for voting against serfdom and national suicide.

"....if the EFTA court rules that the general public should be held accountable for banks that collapse, then we will pay."

Why surrender to the whim of a foreign court? Why not follow up this victory with a referendum on default? Nobody should be forced to pay an unpayable debt that has been imposed under circumstances involving anything less than fully informed consent. Argentina, yes, Latvia, no.

Greg said...

You were crazy not to accept the deal because this debt will not go away - have a look at what interest rate Ireland, Portugal and Greece are paying for their debts - it certainly is not 3.3% over 30 years!

We were happy to invest in your banks as they were guaranteed by your government, the same way that UK banks are guaranteed by the UK government.
Any Icelandic people with money in UK banks had their money effectively refunded by the £700 BILLION of UK taxpayer money used to save our banks. You should do the same for us (I notice Icelandic savers have had their money refunded by your corrupt banana republic government)

moif said...

Are Britain and Holland going to pay back the billions they took from their colonies any time soon? I think not. All this talk of laws and agreements is bogus. How often have we nt heard in the last several decades how one immoral act after another is 'legal'.

Laws are the product of human endeavour, and they are not perfect. They can and are used as weapons by big countries to dominate small countries.

Stay firm Island, and to hell with the 'United States of Europe'! The whole thing is yet another undemocratic act of war against sovereign people. Europe's ruling elite is acting as it has always done, with hypocritical malice and callous disregard for the lives it destroys in its eager bid for power.

Anonymous said...

What was criminal was that our then Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, used anti-terrorist laws to seize Icelandic assests. This should never have happened along with the promise to guarantee 100% savers deposits.

To be honest, Iceland will be better off remaining out of the EU. Just look at what has happened to Greece, Ireland and now Portugal. These countries followed the advice of the EU when managing their debts, which in turn caused more problems.

It's a shame that here in the UK we did not use our existing laws. For example, it is legal to tie up the manager/owner of a failed bank, place them in a sack and throw them in the river Thames.

Birgitta Jónsdóttir said...

thank you for all the comments - i am deeply moved by the courage of the Icelandic nation to vote NO again because all the main powers in Iceland, government, media, unions promised that the end of the world if we would.

I hope many other countries will follow suit... and

you go Greece - it all started with a simple petition in Iceland a little over a year ago - I know you can do it too... will be going to Greece in June to meet some friends that are fighting against the IMF - if you need any advice or isight how we did it - i would be happy to hook you up with people in Iceland.

Ana Margarida Esteves said...

Portugal is watching you too!

Guy from Poland said...

On one hand I totally agree that nations shouldnt take on private debt - its idiotic.

On the other hand -
- Didnt iceland profit by getting the insurance from those offshore branches ? Wasnt it Icelands obligation to build a special legal framework for banks that are too big for them to handle PRIOR to allowing them to gather money abroad ? I does look like dishonest competition unfortunately.

- If Iceland wanted to kill this issue without shouldering the pay outs why did Iceland pay out Icelanders ? Right now the situation is hard to tollerate, you discriminated in favour of Icelandic citizens.

Mike said...

Well done Island, and well done Birgitta. Stand firm against the banksters...#1 and #3 in your list above are good enough reasons to resist to the end.

And I fear joining the EU will do you no favors either, resist this, delay it, wait to see if they respect you in this Icesave issue or if they sell you out.

Anonymous said...

That last quote in my previous comment should have been attributed to Guy from Poland instead of Ana Margarida. I apologize for this mixup which doesn't materially affect the explanations given in my comment.

Cheers people. And just say NO! ;)

Anonymous said...

I find your arguments very reasonable and am really glad the Icelandic people was brave enough to stand up against the outside pressure and voted «NO».

Stand steady and be proud, Iceland! I hope you will be able to project the debt onto its right owners, the failed white collar sharks.

Best wishes and loads of sympathy from observer in Norway.

Ed said...

I wanted to voice my support for the people of Iceland for standing up to the global banking scam that now afflicts the world. Iceland is a shining example of people standing up to financial oppression, and I hope that they can encourage citizens of other countries in similar positions in not accepting the demands of con men! Birgitta Jonsdottir, you are an inspiring leader!

best wishes from the US.

Buck Moody said...

Iceland is the shining beacon of an educated liberated people who have stood up to corporations, and prevailed.

This cannot be said enough! Bravo to Iceland for standing up to the new world order (I won't honour it with capitals). Brown was an unelected dictator and did not speak for Britain. I applaud Iceland for staying out of the EU, and for resisting Brown's fascism. Socialisation of debt indeed! Socialisation of risk, privatisation of benefit, and socialisation of loss. It's a fucking scam and bravo to Iceland for calling time.

Having relocated to Canada from Britain, I can tell you that Blair ripped the heart out of England, and the time of reckoning for the traitors who facilitated this (Blair being number one) cannot come soon enough.

My dad raised me on Icelandic sagas when I was a bairn. I was fortunate enough to enjoy a holiday in Reykjavik in 2004. Your country is beautiful and built on the most noble of ideas - freedom from Kings. I love you and salute you. Don't give up.

juan said...

South American and Mexican export earnings were, under the neolibereral/Washington Consensus regime, sucked nearly dry for decades...more recently the 'advanced nations' turn to supply those for whom there can never be enough. But, national or global, this is Systemic, so a quote from the mid-1800s:

"The two characteristics immanent in the credit system are, on the one hand, to develop the incentive of capitalist production, enrichment through exploitation of the labour of others, to the purest and most colossal form of gambling and swindling, and to reduce more and more the number of the few who exploit the social wealth; on the other hand, to constitute the form of transition to a new mode of production."
[Capital Vol. III Part V]

Yes, Transition is upon us while mainstream econ cons are, as always, blind to the moment -- the capital system and its alienating social relations is ending.