The first thoughts that may come into anyone’s head, if you were to ask them have they heard about Iceland, would be, and I do suppose, the volcanic ash-cloud, followed by Iceland the local supermarket up the road, or if their memory is elastic like and stretching back to the 1970s then the cod war.
What they may not know, or have not heard a great deal about is the impact and forceful consequence which the world recession is having on
and its inhabitants. The crises in this particular country is such an unstable situation and a real reflection of the global failure and bankruptcy of capital the so-called pillar of world society; and of which I am not surprised in the least that the world popular press choose and prefer to keep quiet about its (Iceland’s) financial problems, and particularly how they are bearing upon the ordinary people. I suppose you could say: "Quiet the dragons of worry and fear." Iceland
The Irish Republic is even closer to us here in the UK, still our press print and edit only what they would like us to read, old habits and all that, die hard I suppose, but they don’t tell us a great deal about what was known until very recently as the Celtic Tiger; unless you read publications such as the Financial Times and the Economist. The point being that most newspapers don’t bother because too much knowledge is a dangerous thing in the wrong heads.
Anyway the Financial Crisis of 2008 is still clouding the Irish economy severely, compounding domestic economic problems related to the collapse of the Irish property bubble. The first country in the EU to officially enter a recession as declared by the Central Statistics Office it was stripped of its AAA credit ranking and downgraded to AA+ by Standard & Poor's ratings agency, due to Ireland's bleak financial outlook and heavy government debt burden. It has recently been predicted that the Irish economy will not significantly recover until 2011 if at all under present world conditions.
Ireland has now been linked with other troubled economies in Europe, known as PIIGS. now has the highest level of household debt relative to disposable income in the developed world at 190%. Ireland
Although this post is about Iceland’s financial crises, still, we can not be blinkered, for there are a great many comparisons to be made with other countries, because the one single problem that they all share and have in common is the leeched imposition of capitalism, a world system that is now in a prolonged economic meltdown, in fact it can be said to have reached a fork in the road that it cannot by-pass or arrest and control it’s outmoded orthodoxy and orientation based upon profit.
The Irish property boom had been fuelled like elsewhere else by massive lending from the greedy banks, and when this collapsed - and lenders were unable to repay - the Irish banking system was plunged into crisis. Yes, this story seems now to be very familiar, an identical world scenario and sequence of events. Well it is, because capitalism is global and no matter what the governments of the world do, they cannot control its (capitalism) vampire thrust and greedy thirst, the physiological need to drink the lifeblood of anything and everything profitable. It destroys and devours, even destroys completely almost all good things in life on mother earth.
It is this state of mental disturbance, which has seen millions all over the world, lose jobs and homes whilst governments pile in large sums of money to prop the system up; a very rotten system!" Now austerity is the new buzz word following on from that now universal utterance of quantitative easing, used so much by government, bankers and economists alike.
As governments around the world stumble in an ambidextrous, double-dealing and altogether Janus-faced manner it’s the ordinary people that bear the brunt of this world crisis.
These are indeed uncertain times; general strikes in both France and Greece have been reported in the worlds media in an unfaltering and shock the horror of people power manner, painted as being unreasonable and out of control, but what you don’t read is the press considering for a single moment that it may be the system which really is running out of control, as if economic policy has become the disembodied spirit of capitalism.
Three weeks ago I read a report about the people of
which was not wildly reported around the world. It was about demonstrators who had gathered outside Iceland Iceland’s parliament in , voicing their anger at home foreclosures in a country clearly aching from the global economic crisis. The protesters threw glass bottles and eggs - one of which ended up in the prime minister's hair - and held up signs that read "A human future!", "We want a government that works for its people", and "Elections now!" Reykjavik
This came about because a six-month freeze on mortgage repayments put in place by the government expired, triggering the anger of many Icelanders who will fall short on home payments. According to Icelandic housing experts they say that up to nearly 40,000 households are unable to make their mortgage payments.
So what’s the lesson of this story then, well when the banks failed and through there own greed, they are bailed-out, but when mortgage payers through no fault of their own, default, the banks throw them out!”
This takes place everyday and the world over, surely this can’t be right?”