Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Open Letter: Support Iceland Against the Financial Blackmail of the British and Dutch Governments and the IMF

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Birgitta Jónsdóttir is a spokesperson for The Movement.
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 Jónsdóttir

Party group chairman for The Movement in the Icelandic Parliament


Anonymous said...

For years Iceland's population prospered, paid very low taxes and had a very good life because of all the money pouring in. Where did all that money come from? A big chunk of that fun-money came from the UK and the dutch saving accounts at Icesave. When Icesave blew up, the UK and dutch governments, who together with Iceland's government, gave a guarantee to Icesave customers that their saving accounts were safe in case Icesave would go belly-up. The UK and dutch guarantees were held, Iceland's promise turned out to be an empty promise. Iceland made another promise to the UK and dutch, namely to pay back the huge loans it begged and received from UK and NL...it looks like that was an empty promise as well. To remind you, the UK and dutch loans is money collected through taxes from the UK and dutch taxpayer...seems like they'll have to foot the bill for Iceland's broken promises.

Go after the real culprits instead of calling it blackmail, go after Citigroup, CS and the like who used Icesave for unloading their toxic paper abroad and blame the greed of Icesave's banksters as well as its customers who were eager for that extra percentage, thinking it was riskfree. They are the ones laughing, made whole again and didnt lose a penny!
For the love of God, what are you guys smoking???

Plume (I am not a Icesave victim, not a UK nor NL citizen)

Anonymous said...

1. General income tax in Iceland is 37,2%.

2. Although the living standard in Iceland has been compatible to other European nations and some individuals in Iceland got very wealthy during the last few years the general public has witnessed more class division than ever before. Today less than 1% of families own 13% of all assets.

3. The Icesave accounts were a product invented by Landsbanki when the credit crunch hit the financial markets. It is believed that a lot of the money deposited into the Icesave accounts was relent to European companies, some of them even owned by the owners of Landsbanki.

4. This is not entirely correct since it was entirely the decision of the British and the Dutch government to guarantee deposits above the minimum (EUR 20.887 according to the EU directive).

5. When the Icelandic banking system crashed it had reached 10 times the size of Icelands GDP. The Icesave accounts were close to 1 GDP.

6. There is legal uncertainty regarding who is responsible. This is very important.

7. The Icelandic parliament is the sole institution in Iceland that can oblige the Icelandic state to take on financial obligations. This summer the parliament agreed on a law, with notices, on how Iceland would reimburse the British and the Dutch.

8. One of the notices in question has to do with going after the money that vanished from the Icesave accounts.

Anonymous said...

Blackmail of UK and NL governments...then why took the money? That's around €15600 for every citizen.
It was Iceland's OWN government who put their whole population on the hook for billions as it is the case with all debts taken on by any government, not just Iceland's. Who else but the taxpayer has to pick up the tag for their governments and lest we forget, the banks of course.

The interest rate was increased to 18%(sic!) in order to obtain a loan from IMF. THAT decision caused the collapse of the krona. Iceland needs more and more money. They are even negotiating with (Norway?) to get yet another loan...THAT is Iceland's government, YOUR Mister Grimsson, the hero who drowns the people of Iceland in debts, NOT the UK or the Netherlands.

A few months ago Iceland received these UK and NL billions. Why not give it back to the UK and NL or part of it instead of calling it blackmail? Surely it isn't gone yet already in such a short time, is it? Maybe Iceland could pay back UK and NL with the billions received from the IMF. Or Putin's?

Yes, Putin. What happened to the billions Iceland accepted from Russia, handed to Iceland by Mister Putin. Or hasn't anyone heard about that on Iceland? Where did all that money go and does anyone seriously believe the russians don't want compensation for their "help"? Or is Iceland gonna say no to Russia as well?

Mister Grimsson had nothing against all the billions, Iceland gobbles up billions after billions it knows can't pay back. Of course he is a hero now...Mister Grimsson...in Iceland...for now. The brave man backs out now and let the people decide.

It will be a heavy burden if Iceland had to pay back the UK and NL loans, I admit. It will also be a terrible mistake if Iceland would chose to default on the loans. I've been to Iceland: nearly everything has to be imported. Who wants to do business with Iceland in the future if they can't keep their promises after hauling in billions and billions, time after time from whoever hands it out to them, billions that dissappear and don't have the intention to pay back? Who in the world will trust Iceland's politicians or their banks.

It's true, Iceland can't defend itself. Perhaps Russia will ask for a compensation in the form of strategic military airports and navy ports. Iceland is conveniently close to the USA. Mister Putin's remarks when he handed Iceland the money were, that he will talk about the conditions with Iceland to pay it back, at a later date...Mister Grimsson tells Russia to go to hell? That Russia is blackmailing Iceland, asking support from countries such as UK and the Netherlands to keep the Russians out of Iceland's backyard? Surely looks like blackmail on part of the russians...

Anyway, no matter what the outcome of the referendum, Yes or No, Mister Grimsson can either way tell his people that they themselves voted to go this way in the referendum. His consience is clear.

The 3 Icelandic investment banks were used by Citigroup as offshore banks. All 3 declared bankrupt. The money isn't there anymore, I presume Citi has it.
I sincerely hope for Iceland's as well as UK and dutch taxpayers, the money will be "found" and returned to UK and NL as was promised by Iceland's government.

There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one striking at the roots (H.D. Thoreau).


PS: progressive income tax rate in the Netherlands: 33.5, 42 and 52% compared to Iceland's flat income tax rate of 22%, comparable to Switzerland. Corporate tax rate in Iceland is under 20%, one of the lowest in the world. Even lower than Switzerland! Who calls Switzerland a tax haven? Iceland doesn't have a wealth tax, the Netherlands have.

emerzak said...

it seems like the movie The_13th_Warrior with antonio bandera as ahmed ibn fadlan.

Anonymous said...

Global Debt Crisis

The greatest private fraud of human history.
Who are the great fraudsters who are becoming the murderers of the human kind? How does the economy "illness" threaten Democracy and the freedom of people?

By knowing what happened in indebted Greece, where loan sharks created “bubbles” and the current inhuman debt, one can understand the inhuman plan in total ...understand where this plan started just to bring all states at the same end ...understand how this type of plans are established...