Posts Tagged ‘European Union’

The following report can be read here: http://wakeup-world.com/2012/05/25/the-silent-revolution-icelandic-anger-debt-forgiveness-and-activist-triumph/

25th May 2012

By Madison Ruppert

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

The situation in Iceland is something those of us outside of the volcanic island nation hear about far too little, and when one examines the story of how Iceland triumphed over massive debts, it makes a lot of sense why this is the case.

Earlier this year, the Icelandic Financial Services Association published a report showing that since the end of 2008, Icelandic banks have forgiven the equivalent of 13 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product in loans.

This has directly lifted the crushing burden of debt form the shoulders of over one quarter of the Icelandic population, something which many people around the world – but especially in the United States, Greece, Spain, Italy and other nations struggling with massive debts – would likely appreciate greatly.

In 2008, Icelandic banks defaulted on a whopping $85 billion in loans, yet the nation has taken steps to recover and they are already proving to be effective.

“You could safely say that Iceland holds the world record in household debt relief,” Lars Christensen, the chief emerging markets economist at Danske Bank A/S in Copenhagen, explained.

“Iceland followed the textbook example of what is required in a crisis. Any economist would agree with that,” he added.

Then why wouldn’t other nations follow a similar model instead of pouring even more money into the black hole of debt, hoping that it will somehow fix itself?

That is a question which cannot be answered with any degree of certainty, but Iceland has proven that endless bailouts are not the only way we can turn countries around from the brink of collapse.

The Icelandic economy will outgrow the eurozone in 2012 and is set to outgrow the entire developed world on average, according to estimates from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

This growth is reflected in the fact that many polls are showing that the people of Iceland have no interest in joining the European Union, which continues to be wracked by a debt crisis the likes of which have never been seen.

The solution Iceland implemented involved an agreement between the banks and the government, which entailed forgiving debt exceeding 110 percent of home values.

This is commonly known as “under water” mortgages (or more technically “negative equity”), which have become far too common place, especially in the United States.

Indeed, a CNBC article from November of last year stated that one out of two U.S. mortgages is effectively underwater.

In addition to the debt forgiveness, the Icelandic Supreme Court ruled in June 2010 that loans indexed to foreign currencies were legal, which means that Icelandic households were no longer expected to cover krona (the Swedish currency) losses.

The most important factor of their approach, however, is that every step of the way they have put their own people before the markets. This is essentially the polar opposite of what we have seen so many other nations do in response to debt crises.

The Icelandic government basically left international creditors to deal with their failed loans on their own, removing all responsibility from their own people.

Now Iceland is proceeding to actually prosecute some of their formerly most powerful bankers and the Icelandic special prosecutor has stated that it very well may indict some 90 people.

Meanwhile, over 200 people, including the former chief executives of Iceland’s three biggest banks, face criminal charges for their activities.

Maybe some other nations should take a page out of Iceland’s book and think about their people before the banks that caused the crisis in the first place.

About the Author

Madison Ruppert is the Editor and Owner-Operator of the alternative news and analysis database End The Lie and has no affiliation with any NGO, political party, economic school, or other organization/cause. He is available for podcast and radio interviews. If you have questions, comments, or corrections feel free to contact him at admin@EndtheLie.com

During today’s PMQ‘s Mr Alexander (Rt Hon Douglas Alexander Labour Paisley and Renfrewshire South) said with regards to the Europe debate:

“The Opposition understand that the real agenda on certain Government Benches is not only to bring powers back, but to take rights away.”

Our government’s hidden agenda, would almost without a doubt, affect not only workers rights but those of benefit claimants too. Rather than change their new system to make it more fair and reduce the amount of claimants that have to appeal, they could take away our right of appeal, and without the European Court Of Human Rights to oversee our government, they will have full reins over the fate of all of us in England, no matter which party is in charge in the future.

And lets not forget who brought in the changes to our benefit system, it was the previous Labour government. Labour may well be saying that they want to stay in Europe but do they really? But then how could they be in opposition government if they agreed with what the coalition want? As Labour are mostly funded by Unions, do they want them to have to start fighting for workers rights again, our country will be moving backwards! Do Labour also have a hidden agenda?

People  have fought for people’s rights for decades and these could be lost in a matter of a couple of years if not sooner. In a nutshell, if we pull out of Europe, we are all screwed….aren’t we???

FM

The ConDem‘s have attacked just about everyone since the banks screwed everyone, and everyone is so busy fighting their own corners that no-one is sticking together and people are becoming more & more divided. This is exactly what the government want as it makes it so easy for them to control the populace. This country is becoming more & more of a dictatorship than has ever been known in British history. Is this what the government have really learnt from going into Iraq and Afghanistan? And we went in dictating to them that they were wrong?

I see other countries sticking together, like Greece, Spain and Portugal. Even having a strike and a protest march on the same day.

What is the point in unions if no-one goes on strike anymore, if striking is or becomes illegal and then job losses are imminent due to strike action then that’s another dictatorship control of the masses.

What happened to the Labour party, aren’t they paid for at least partly if not fully by the Unions. Where’s their support for people’s rights?

By keeping inflation high and pay rises low there are many thousands more just like you that also cannot afford to strike, we are all just accepting the austerity measures and will continue to do so until it all collapses in on itself. (Stiff upper lip, and all that!) The English are far too tolerant….

I have ‘hopefully’ attached a map that I got from  BBC news website, which shows the EU trade union membership (% of working population).
Image

It looks to me, that those countries, (Belgium, Norway, Sweden and Finland) that have a higher % of union members don’t have the problems that the rest of the EU are going through…..Just an observation….leading to an idea……get the union to recruit more members and use the austerity measures to bring in the young who don’t know what union membership is!

Our grandparents fought tooth and nail to give their future generations a decent life, and now all their hard work is being undermined every single day in parliament.