Monday, 17 August 2009

Haiti of the North

Since we're being told on all sides that France, Germany and - a hard one to swallow this - Japan are motoring out of recession I thought I'd take a peek at the Icelandic situation once again. You remember Iceland, don't you? That country that Daniel Hannan wanted Britain to be more like.

There are another round of demos getting underway according to the Weather Report and the latest one featured a speech by
Einar Már Guðmundsson, an Icelandic writer(that's him in the picture).

"Self-made bondage is the strongest form of bondage. Thus wrote Sigfús Daðason, and thus is our situation today. The constitution was mortgaged without the nation being asked, and now we are to acknowledge the collateral and confess to the crime. We are confessing to a crime we did not commit. Let me quote Eva Joly: “This small country of 320,000 inhabitants is now reeling under the weight of billions of Euros of debt, which has absolutely nothing to do with the vast majority of its population and which Iceland cannot afford to pay.”

Yes, we are being enslaved. The Icesave agreement is stage one, the conditions of the International Monetary Fund stage two, and so it will continue until sometime in the future, when we receive an apology for the mistake that is being made … but by then it will be too late. They say we will become the Cuba of the North if we do not ratify this agreement. But shouldn’t we add: We will become the Haiti of the North if we do ratify it. They fulfilled all the IMF’s demands – and are now plagued by a famine. ... That is the reason we are here today – and we oppose this. All of us. We are being made to confess to a crime we did not commit. We are to shoulder the burdens of the global financial system, to become their underdogs.

In truth, this problem is not the nation’s problem, but that of the owners of the privatized banks who vacuumed up cash using the Icesave accounts. Our problem is that the government of this country and its politicians want to remove this problem from the bank’s owners and hand it to us and – not least – to our descendants. We cannot let this happen. We oppose this – all of us.

To you inside the parliament building I say: Stop your bullshit. Stop talking about “friendly nations”, “deposit insurance”, “global community”. The “global community” is a community of wealthy nations, “deposit insurance” is the socialization of losses, and “friendly nations” is wishful thinking and does not extend to authorities, or capital. The Swedes are not our enemies, yet the Swedish financial system financed the banking system of the Baltic States when it was placed on the market – and robbed. The Swedish financial sector looks at the similar collapse of our banks and understands Gordon Brown’s arguments as well as he, himself, does – no, do not confuse this with friendship. Gordon Brown is one of the main theorists behind the financial system in London City, and its regulations, or rather its absence of regulations, became the guiding principle behind the Icelandic financial system. In light of this, none of your legal opinions matter, nor do the names of people in the negotiating committees. A financial war is raging throughout the world in which a decrepit system tries to rev its engines, and in that workshop it is our authorities who are madly shoveling the coals. One of the world’s wisest economists states: “The International Monetary Fund is a sort of debt collector for global creditors and collects revenues … for them. Amazingly, nations the world over are losing their financial and economic freedom, without resistance.”"
Thanks to the Weather Report for the translation - you'll find the full speech there.

1 comment:

  1. Charlie, our Icelanders appear to have told Gordon Brown & the IMF where to stick it:

    http://forums.redpepper.org.uk/index.php?topic=1240.msg8947;topicseen#msg8947

    http://www.counterpunch.org/hudson08182009.html

    ReplyDelete