A good president

5th  January, 2010.

The latest news from Iceland, as reported in the Guardian today:

” The president of Iceland has refused to sign a bill to repay more than €3.8bn (£3.4bn) to Britain and the Netherlands following the collapse of the country’s Icesave bank in 2008.

Olafur Grimsson threw the long-running issue into fresh uncertainty today when he declared that a national referendum must be held to determine whether or not the legislation is passed.

This is thought to be only the second occasion when the president of Iceland has refused to ratify a bill passed by the country’s parliament. Grimsson took the decision after hearing the depth of public anger in Iceland against the bill, which was narrowly approved by MPs on 30 December.

“The cornerstone of Iceland’s constitution is that the nation is the highest judge for the validity of law,” said Grimsson. “Now the nation has the power and the responsibility in its hands.”

At last!  A political leader that sides with the people, not the bankers.

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5 comments to A good president

  • EXACTLY, Ann: a political leader that sides with the people, not the bankers. And, above all, not

    the Central Bankers!

  • Brian P. Smith

    YESSS! At last somebody with real common sense and morals to go with it! How I wish our leaders (and those of other major countries!)

    would start to consider some of the alternative viewpoints and not blindly follow the vast majority of economists who have got us into this mess in

    the first place! It really IS time to consider the alternatives and not just do what we have done for the past few decades. I am sure that most of

    the advice comes from people who have vested interests in allowing the system to continue unchanged.

  • Dear Ann

    Thank you for your explanation of the Iceland situation, both here and at the Huffington Post. I

    am no expert on financial matters or economics, but the way in which The Times is reporting this issue is a bit different – it says that Britain

    and The Netherlands issued a loan to Iceland when the IceSave bank collapsed, so that savers did not lose their money. What they say is now

    happening is that Iceland is defaulting on that loan, owing to the Presidential veto.

    I don’t know enough to “take sides” on this issue,

    but it seems to me that there is a difference between the US and the Iceland actions in that the US actions involved their own financial system

    whatever one may think of that, whereas the Iceland situation is refusal to repay a loan made to them by two other countries, which is rather

    different. If they had refused to accept the loan, of course, then I would understand your point of view here. But surely what they are doing is

    not protecting their taxpayers from paying for the bust bank directly; rather they are protecting them from repaying a country-to-country loan that

    the Iceland government took out.

    Either way, things look pretty bad for the Iceland economy, for if they reverse their decision and repay

    the loan they go bust; and if they don’t repay it, they will be outside the world’s financial system and it is hard to see how they will survive

    in isolation of the rest of the world. (Already the country’s financial credit has been set to “junk” status according to today’s Times.)

  • […] Ann Pettifor has no doubts about the Icelandic presidents decision ” At last! A political leader that sides with the people, not the

    bankers.” (link to article). […]

  • Ron Bishop

    The sovereignty of countries has been at risk now since this silly globalisation got underway-the only ‘collective” is the banking

    community-nations will have to act in self interest for themselves and their citizens.
    (There is more to the world community than trade after

    all.)

    Iceland will be fine-it will be good to see less silly consumption and reckless financial trading-being on the outside of the gloabl

    money madness might be the best thing they-and the rest of us-can do right now.
    Governments govern and regulate-lets’ see more governing from

    other countries
    Loans have been forgiven before now-post war Germany for one.
    Thanks Ann

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