Published on Apr 8, 2013
Icelandic Parliamentarian Birgitta Jonsdottir played a critical role in Wikileaks’ release of the “Collateral Murder” video, which showed a U.S. military helicopter in July 2007 as it killed 12 people and wounded two children in Iraq. Jonsdottir joins us on her first trip to the United States since a secret grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia, began its investigation of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. She also discusses her role at the center of another closely watched legal case — challenging of the government’s effort to obtain her Twitter records without a warrant, and why she has come to the United States to champion the cases of military whistleblower Bradley Manning and the accused hacker Jeremy Hammond.
The president of Iceland says that his nation will never forgive Gordon Brown after it was hit with financial sanctions. The President of Iceland has launched an extraordinary verbal attack on Gordon Brown on the fringes of the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, the country’s longest-serving president,said that his country would “never forget” its treatment during the financial crisis at the hands of the former British prime minister. During the financial crisis, following the collapse of Icelandic bank Icesave and Iceland’s refusal to refund UK deposits, Britain took the rare step of imposing financial sanctions on the country.
Mr Grimsson said: “The Gordon Brown government decided, to its eternal shame, to put the Icelandic government on a list of terrorist states and terrorist phenomena. We were there together with al Qaeda and the Taliban on that list. “We have not forgotten that in Iceland.”
“Gordon Brown will be long remembered in my country for centuries to come, long after he has been completely forgotten in Britain.”
“Complete victory,” headlines Frettabladid following the ruling of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) in favour of Reykjavik in the case it brought against the European Commission. The Commission had been pursuing Iceland, arguing that when the Landsbanki, Iceland’s biggest private bank, went bankrupt in 2008, the government should not have refused to cover the losses of Dutch and British customers of Icesave, a subsidiary of the Landsbanki set up in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. That refusal was endorsed by a referendum in which Icelanders rejected the loan guarantees repayment negotiated by their governments with The Hague and with London.
“The court has ruled that Iceland has not violated European directives concerning the obligation to guarantee bank deposits, as those directives do not apply to a systemic crisis,” writes the newspaper. That crisis had hit the entire Icelandic banking sector, which collapsed in 2008.
The Court has sided with Iceland on a legal and political issue that resonates well beyond Iceland: whether the state is and should be responsible for liabilities of a national deposit insurance scheme.”
As for the European Commission, it “appears to be quite the sore loser,”notes Les Echos in Paris, which says that Brussels
is claiming that depositors must be insured whatever happens, even in a systemic crisis. It should address that question now, while negotiations on the harmonisation of European deposit guarantees are still going on.
When, in September 2008, the economic and financial crisis hit Iceland – a small island in the Atlantic with 320 000 inhabitants – the impact was disastrous, as in the rest of the continent. Financial speculation bankrupted the top three banks, whose total assets were ten times higher than the country’s GDP.
They refused IMF prescriptions, let banks fail and sentenced those responsible for crisis by Salim Lamrani.
When, in September 2008, the economic and financial crisis hit Iceland – a small island in the Atlantic with 320 000 inhabitants – the impact was disastrous, as in the rest of the continent. Financial speculation bankrupted the top three banks, whose total assets were ten times higher than the country’s GDP. The net loss was 85 billion dollars. The unemployment rate increased nine times between 2008 and 2010, while before the country enjoyed full employment.
Iceland’s debt represented 900% of GDP and the national currency depreciated by 80% against the euro. The country fell into a deep recession, with a decline in GDP of 11% in two years.
The only politician in the world to stand trial for his role in the 2008 financial crisis will learn his fate in Iceland today.
Geir Haarde - Former Icelandic Prime Minister
A court is to rule on whether former prime minister Geir Haarde was grossly negligent or not. The court will decide whether he was personally responsible for failing to rein in the country’s banking sector before it imploded.
1. october 2010 people are protesting outside Icelandic parliament. Members of parliament on the run from the angry crowd who were throwing eggs and trash at them. Broken windows and people stuggeling with the police. Police armed with clubbs and peperspray ready to use, it came very close to fighting and rioting. Few days later, around 15.000 – 20.000 came again to protest.