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Iceland's Politicians Forced To Flee From Angry Protesters

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/oct/01/iceland-politicians-flee-protesters

Protesters took to the streets of Reykjavik today, forcing MPs to run away from the people they represent as renewed anger about the impact of the financial crisis erupted in Iceland.

The violent protest came amid growing fury at austerity measures being imposed across Europe. Disruption in more than a dozen countries this week included a national strike in Spain and a cement truck driven into the Irish parliament's gates.

Witnesses said up to 2,000 people caused chaos at the state opening of the Icelandic parliament, with politicians forced to race to the back door of the building because of the large number of protesters at the front. Eggs were said to have hit the prime minister, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, other MPs and the wife of the Icelandic president, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson.

Árni Páll Árnason, the minister of economics affairs, who was caught up in the protests, said: "We have a difficult economic situation and this is something to be expected in a democratic country."

A UN agency has warned of growing social unrest because of a long "labour market recession" that could last until 2015. The International Labour Organisation revised down its forecast and estimated that 22m new jobs were needed to return to levels before the banking crisis.

Juan Somavía, director general of the ILO, said social cohesion would be at risk, adding: "Governments should not have to choose between the demands of financial markets and the needs of their citizens."

The protests came in the same week as demonstrations in Greece, Portugal, Slovenia and Lithuania.

According to the writer Hallgrímur Helgason, anger has flared in Iceland because of the increasing numbers losing their homes and fury that only the former prime minister Geir Haarde has been charged with negligence over the financial crisis. The parliament voted this week to charge Haarde, who has said he is confident he will be vindicated, but not three others facing similar charges.

Iceland was at the centre of the financial crisis and took out loans from the International Monetary Fund and its Nordic neighbours after the collapse of three main banks in 2008.

Birgitta Jónsdóttir, one of three MPs to join the protesters, said: "There is a realisation that the IMF is going to wipe out our middle classes."

Árnason said that while the economy was still difficult, the government was convinced it was taking the correct measures to put the county on track for a balanced budget by 2012. "We expect 3.2% growth next year and we believe unemployment has peaked at 8.3%," he said.

Coming soon to a city near you.

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http://www.guardian....flee-protesters

Coming soon to a city near you.

"We have a difficult economic situation and this is something to be expected in a democratic country."

Our "Democratic?" leaders let the Wolves run riot as they savaged the flocks wholesale, by turning a blind eye to the carnage whilst they filled their own pockets behind the scenes!

They have whatever that's coming to them!

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These protesters are like children throwing their toys out of the pram.

I bet they weren't complaining when their house prices were going up 10% yoy, but when it all goes pete tong they take it out on the bankers and politicians.

They would have rioted even more if there had been no bailouts.

Edited by Chef

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Don't hold your breath for anyone in the UK to lift a finger. The chav classes are kept well bribed with benefits, cheap booze, football on TV, celebrity culture tat, internet porn and reality TV shows.

The working and middle classes that support them have too much to lose by making trouble - especially since they are likely up to their necks in debt and are working themselves to the bone to service it and pay the taxes to support both the welfare system and the continuing enrichment of the elite.

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These protesters are like children throwing their toys out of the pram.

What are you basing that on?

beign taxed to pay for someone elses fraud seems like a decent reason to get angry to me.

I bet they weren't complaining when their house prices were going up 10% yoy, but when it all goes pete tong they take it out on the bankers and politicians.

Their house was going up due to fraud. When the fraud was revealed they had (and have) every right to be angry.

They would have rioted even more if there had been no bailouts.

Maybe.

Either way though, the problem is the bankers and their little FRB fraud. They lied to everyone about something very important and now the mess has to be fixed. Quite why you think people should take this with wide eyed docilty I have no idea. Can you enlighten me?

Edited by Injin

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Don't hold your breath for anyone in the UK to lift a finger. The chav classes are kept well bribed with benefits, cheap booze, football on TV, celebrity culture tat, internet porn and reality TV shows.

The working and middle classes that support them have too much to lose by making trouble - especially since they are likely up to their necks in debt and are working themselves to the bone to service it and pay the taxes to support both the welfare system and the continuing enrichment of the elite.

Add to that the UK government had the foresight to install all that surveillance gear, and pass new laws to make sure the people are as defenceless as new-born lambs. Any attempt at rebellion will be ruthlessly put down. We have history, we've got form.

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Add to that the UK government had the foresight to install all that surveillance gear, and pass new laws to make sure the people are as defenceless as new-born lambs. Any attempt at rebellion will be ruthlessly put down. We have history, we've got form.

Apathy will work just fine to end this farce.

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These protesters are like children throwing their toys out of the pram.

I bet they weren't complaining when their house prices were going up 10% yoy, but when it all goes pete tong they take it out on the bankers and politicians.

They would have rioted even more if there had been no bailouts.

Oddly I do sort of go with this .. Nasty as it sounds it is partly true .. I was there in 2007 and when I suggested that the Icelandic banks were "not for real" I was shouted down with the reasons why the Icelandic banks were untouchable .. they had just seen opportunities overseas that no other banks had seen .. "Talking Down" in Iceland was not socially acceptable ..

Yes it went wrong for them .. but any Icelander who had suggested it might go wrong before it did would have been socially excluded ..

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What are you basing that on?

beign taxed to pay for someone elses fraud seems like a decent reason to get angry to me.

Their house was going up due to fraud. When the fraud was revealed they had (and have) every right to be angry.

Maybe.

Either way though, the problem is the bankers and their little FRB fraud. They lied to everyone about something very important and now the mess has to be fixed. Quite why you think people should take this with wide eyed docilty I have no idea. Can you enlighten me?

You present a false dichotomy. What we have is two groups of violent economically illiterate socialists fighting over the right to steal my money and you're goading me into taking sides.

I pick neither. I hope they beat the crap out of each other.

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You present a false dichotomy. What we have is two groups of violent economically illiterate socialists fighting over the right to steal my money and you're goading me into taking sides.

No, you've got people saying that not just the ex OPM should be charged with negligence, and chucking bricks to try and make it happen.

Maybe you should have read the link?

I pick neither. I hope they beat the crap out of each other.

But you agree that the whole mess is entirely the fault of the bankers, right?

No FRB fraud, no boom, no bust, no problem.

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Taxy taxy.

When it push comes to shove (or worse) the rich and their politico bag carriers are going to realise giving up some of their stolen loot is preferable to giving up their lives.

They pushed their luck just a little too far.

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No, you've got people saying that not just the ex OPM should be charged with negligence, and chucking bricks to try and make it happen.

Maybe you should have read the link?

But you agree that the whole mess is entirely the fault of the bankers, right?

No FRB fraud, no boom, no bust, no problem.

Your enemy's enemy isn't necessarily your friend. Go and ask the protestors standing outside the Tory conference what they stand for (not against) and you'll see what I mean. I take your point about the individual Icelandic case, but these issues are too complex to be solved by lobbing a few bricks around.

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Your enemy's enemy isn't necessarily your friend. Go and ask the protestors standing outside the Tory conference what they stand for (not against) and you'll see what I mean. I take your point about the individual Icelandic case, but these issues are too complex to be solved by lobbing a few bricks around.

Unless it's at bankers?

If anyone who tried the FRB thing wound up with a horde of brick chucking protestors on their lawn, we might have a bit less of it, eh?

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Don't hold your breath for anyone in the UK to lift a finger. The chav classes are kept well bribed with benefits, cheap booze, football on TV, celebrity culture tat, internet porn and reality TV shows..

Sounds like my day so far.

(apart from the benefits, though extra Internet porn)

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These protesters are like children throwing their toys out of the pram.

I bet they weren't complaining when their house prices were going up 10% yoy, but when it all goes pete tong they take it out on the bankers and politicians.

They would have rioted even more if there had been no bailouts.

A large portion of the Icelandic public got caught up in the bubble and went on a spending spree. The best example of the mania that manifested itself in the Icelandic society is the fact that when Toy's R Us opened over one weekend in 2006, the Icelandic nation set a world record in toy shopping..

When it comes to explaining the Icelandic crash, this has been called "the flat screen theory".

I for one to not agree with this theory as I cannot see how buying to many flat screens and toys can completely destroy a whole nations economy.

As for the general public being happy when house prices were going up, well the only generation that gained anything from this rise were people over 50 that had bought or built houses prior to 2000 and were about to downgrade in size.. The rest were forced to buy ridiculously priced apartments and had to take huge loans in order to do so.

Now let me explain where the anger is coming from, but in order to do so I must explain how things work in Iceland.

First I will say that taxes have increased, income has decreased, food prices have gone up 70%, energy prices up 30%, unemployment is 9%(even though several thousands have fled abroad to work) and the housing market has been in deep freeze for two years.

1. The general loan system in Iceland.

For all loans longer than 5 years, the Icelandic public has been forced for three decades to take loans that are index bound to inflation. This means that when there is inflation in Iceland(which is always), the loan increases. Here's a personal example.

I bought a 62m2 flat in 2002 for 8 millions ISK. I sold it in 2006 for 15 millions and bought a 76m2 flat instead for 20,5 millions.

So after this transaction I owed 14 millions. Since then I have payed 4 millions, but due to the currency crash and the gigantic inflation that followed, the loan stands at 19 millions. This is not to be corrected due to the IMF refusing to allow it..

2."Foreign currency loans"

In 2001 the Icelandic parliament issued laws forbidding the banks to grant loans in ISK that were index bound to foreign currency. The banks however started issuing these loans in 2002 and virtually fooled the general public into taking them, by persuading customers of the brilliance of these kind of loans. By taking them they could escape the "inflation index" and in a save manner due to the strong Krona. Virtually every car bought via loan between 2002 and 2008 has a loan of this kind and about 10% of houses, hence the throwing of car keys in the video. Needless to say, the parliament did nothing to stop these loans.

In 2008 when Iceland came crashing down, the currency crashed 100% resulting in a 100% mutation of these loans. Needless to say, no one that took this kind of a loan has been able to pay anything for two years now. This summer, these loans were ruled as illegal by the Icelandic supreme court. Politicians however have done nothing regarding this issue since 2008 besides setting a bankruptcy ban that went out of order last Friday. It is expected the thousands of families will be evacuated from their homes this month due to bankruptcy because of these loans. There have even been a few suicides directly linked to these illegal loans.

Would you be willing to stand in front of an Icelandic crowd and say...The crash is your fault because you bought to much stuff???

Hardly...No Iceland came crashing down because politicians allowed the banks to become 10X GDP and because bankers took advantage of ordinary people that came to them for economic guidance. Heck they even managed to persuade kids to buy bank shares for their confirmation money..

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Birgitta Jónsdóttir, one of three MPs to join the protesters, said: "There is a realisation that the IMF is going to wipe out our middle classes."

This is the really ominous aspect to this global crisis. In history, when economic circumstances destroy the middle and lower middle classes wealth and savings, you get serious political blowback.

I hate to be brutal about it, but, historically, the only way to avoid the blowback is to kill or exile the middle class and lower middle class people who have lost the wealth -- that is really only the way you can suppress the dissent.

The middle class, and lower middle, don't tend to get too political because they have something to lose, but if they lose everything, it unleashes a monster -- doubly so, because these people tend to feel they have worked for their wealth and been good citizens. Their sense of grievance can be extraordinary.

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This is the really ominous aspect to this global crisis. In history, when economic circumstances destroy the middle and lower middle classes wealth and savings, you get serious political blowback.

I hate to be brutal about it, but, historically, the only way to avoid the blowback is to kill or exile the middle class and lower middle class people who have lost the wealth -- that is really only the way you can suppress the dissent.

The middle class, and lower middle, don't tend to get too political because they have something to lose, but if they lose everything, it unleashes a monster -- doubly so, because these people tend to feel they have worked for their wealth and been good citizens. Their sense of grievance can be extraordinary.

Evil IMF eh? Iceland is probably one of the most corrupt societies on the planet. The banks were bribing the entire political class, the media and even university professors to keep their scam running. They borrowed money abroad, 60billion euro of so, and shovelled onto their population who now don't want to pay it back. All that money went somewhere, and most of it ended up in Iceland. Although in some cases the bankers simply stole it and transferred abroad (500million euro loan from the ICB was stolen by one bank owner).

IMF has given Iceland 6billion, if its so ****ing terrible, they can always refuse the loans and starve\walk\stop buying imported crap. I fully expect them to refuse to pay back the IMF as well.

Don't kid yourself that Icelanders will stand up to their political masters, The Party will get voted back into power and the sheep will follow their leaders. Iceland is a Mafia country, speak out against The Party and you will find yourself without a job or a loan or anything else you need to survive.

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Here's a personal example...

I bought a 62m2 flat in 2002 for 8 millions ISK. I sold it in 2006 for 15 millions and bought a 76m2 flat instead for 20,5 millions.

So after this transaction I owed 14 millions. Since then I have payed 4 millions, but due to the currency crash and the gigantic inflation that followed, the loan stands at 19 millions. This is not to be corrected due to the IMF refusing to allow it..

Thanks for the info. Very interesting. Not many sites you could see this kind of detail!

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Taxy taxy.

When it push comes to shove (or worse) the rich and their politico bag carriers are going to realise giving up some of their stolen loot is preferable to giving up their lives.

They pushed their luck just a little too far.

It wouldn't surprise me if some of the rich decide it's in their long term interest to share the wealth more. However we aren't at that point yet, too many still think they can hoard the cash for themselves.

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I bet they weren't complaining when their house prices were going up 10% yoy, but when it all goes pete tong they take it out on the bankers and politicians

Yes you're right- it's not like the bankers and politicians have any influence over events- the cash that found it's way into their private accounts was as big a surprise to them as it was to everyone else :lol:

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Virtually every car bought via loan between 2002 and 2008 has a loan of this kind and about 10% of houses, hence the throwing of car keys in the video. Needless to say, the parliament did nothing to stop these loans.

I was wondering about all those car keys. Are Icelandic lenders and their agents really pursuing recovery of cars where the owners aren't paying their monthly repayments?

That flat you traded up to. What is 19 million Icelandic in British pounds? Nearly £107,000.

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If Iceland told its foreign creditors to F off, why are they having to borrow anything?

The international credit market is closed to Iceland so what exactly are they trying to maintain that they cant simply default on??

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  • 140 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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