Was the President right?

There are very mixed emotions about this decicion of President Ólafur R. Grímsson to refuse to sign the laws, and by that press the matter into a national referendum.

On a personal note, I don’t want to pay for the mistakes, corruption and stupidity of private bankers and corrupt politicians. The international community should share the blame for allowing the system to be used in this way, and for not doing anything themselves. The British Financial Authority for example, made just as much fool of themselves as their Icelandic counterparts.

See here good arguments for this oppninion.

Here is another article about this.

Then there is the more pressing question. Should Iceland pay Icesave? The President wants the nation to decide. His political adversaries in the Progressive party and the Independence party did everything they could to drag this Icesave deal on. They managed to do so for 8 months. In the meantime the parliament has been rendered powerless and useless because all its time goes into this Icesave discussion. Bjarni Benediktsson chairman of the Independence party and Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson of the Progressive party talked boldly about democracy, how the bill should not land on Iceland, and that the people should decide for themselves.paxman

They both applauded the President for not signing. It helped their political cause. But only 24 hours after that, both Bjarni and Sigmundur now want the parliament to withdraw the legislation and they will find another solution.

They now talk boldly that the public should not be allowed to vote on the issue. This came after it became clear that around 60% of people would have said yes in a national referendum. So they would loose again. They therefor need another strategy, and that strategy is to prevent the public from voting.

Since the whole mess is their fault, not only politically but personally like in the case of Bjarni Benediktsson and his ventures with the Wernerson brothers in China for example. Another story is needed to explain that.

There is a difference on how a deal is done, and how nation states behave towards each other. The UK and the Netherlands will most likely see that too and renegotiate if the nation says no to the legislation in the national referendum.

After the President was on the BBC’s Newsnight with Jeremy Paxman yesterday the media in the UK have been filling with positive articles towards Iceland and the situation we are in.

Here are a few.

BBC News: We are all Icelander’s now.

The Independent leading article: Iceland should not bullied.

Financial Times: Do not put Iceland in a debtor’s prison.

The Economist: Voting away your debts.


About this entry