Tiny Iceland teaches the West how to treat bankers

Visit of Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson, Icelandic Minister for Fisheries and Agriculture, and Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources, to the European Commission. Round table: (from left to right) Thórir Ibsen, Head of the Mission of Iceland to the EU, Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson, Maria Damanaki EU Commissioner for Fisheries and Andreas Papaconstantinou, Member of the cabinet of Maria Damanaki. (EC Audiovisual Services).

Visit of Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson, Icelandic Minister for Fisheries and Agriculture, and Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources, to the European Commission. Round table: (from left to right) Thórir Ibsen, Head of the Mission of Iceland to the EU, Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson, Maria Damanaki EU Commissioner for Fisheries and Andreas Papaconstantinou, Member of the cabinet of Maria Damanaki. (EC Audiovisual Services).

Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, the Prime Minister of Iceland, hardened by adverse weather and isolation as all his compatriots, when in Brussels last summer, delivered two lessons to EU bureaucrats and dignitaries, softened by indoor life. He taught them how to treat fraudulent bankers and who to fish mackerel. Yesterday tiny Iceland accomplished its teaching course of how to treat fraudulent bankers, by sentencing three former top managers and the major shareholder of the Kaupthing bank for up to five years in jail. They are the former CEO of the bank, the chairman, the majority owner and the head of the Luxembourg affiliate.

Kaupthing along with Landsbanki and Glitnir, the three major Icelandic banks, went bankrupt in 2008, affected by the spillovers of the great financial crunch that first erupted in the US. Unlike the rest of the western countries, however, Iceland’s taxpayers didn’t cover the losses of those careless banks neither did they compensate their equally careless creditors. The three banks had borrowed many times the GDP of Iceland and the country’s government decided to let them rot along with their creditors and high yield seeking depositors.

Taking care of the poor

At the same time Iceland took extraordinary measures to protect the weaker part of the population during the hard times that followed. The national money was greatly devalued and fuel and food suddenly became very scarce. In any case, Iceland has now fully recovered, due to the hard work of its people and by applying the right economic policies. On the contrary Ireland, when confronted with exactly the same problem – when the Irish banking system collapsed – was forced by the European Central Bank to borrow around €90 billion and instructed to bail out all fraudulent bankers.

Of course the Irish people paid a dear price for that, with three years of austerity policies, deep economic recession, devastating unemployment rates and a sovereign debt that has now reached 120% of the GDP. As a result, the country’s taxpayers will be burdened all along the next twenty to thirty years to repay the debts of the bankers. In the case of Iceland after the first difficult year, the economy started to recover and the country owes nothing to anybody. On top of that, Iceland’s penal system found the bankers of Kaupthing guilty of fraud. They hide the fact that a foreign investor, who had bought a large stake in their bank weeks ahead of the fall, had done so with a loan from this same lender.

The justification

The remote island country didn’t escape that easy from the wrath of the major world banks, which controls countries and governments. Iceland was attacked by Britain and Holland for not having compensated their own citizens who had deposited and lost money in the Icelandic banking system. This was the famous Icesave affair. However, the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Court where Britain and Holland took their case, rejected all , that Iceland should be declared in breach of the European Economic Area Agreement. The Court also rejected the claim that Iceland has breached the EU Deposit Guarantee Directive or has discriminated against depositors contrary to European Economic Area law. London and The Hague were called to pay for the judicial costs. The decision was final because there is no appeal.

Last but not least, it must be mentioned that the four above mentioned bankers were charged to pay millions in judicial expenses. It must also be noted that there are more penal cases against Iceland’s bankers. Unfortunately, this is not the case in other western countries where the banks drove the economy to chaos back in 2008-2009.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Britain, EU take edgy steps to unlock Brexit talks as the war of words rages

VW diesel scandal and climate change: can increased independent car checks lead to cleaner mobility?

How to survive and thrive in our age of uncertainty

UN commission agrees roadmap on ensuring women’s social protection, mobility, safety, and access to economic opportunities

We generate 125,000 jumbo jets worth of e-waste every year. Here’s how we can tackle the problem

Joint EU-U.S. statement following the EU-U.S. Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial Meeting

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: Guterres calls for restraint in Venezuela, Jazz Day, the importance of breastfeeding, and updates from Libya, Iran and Mozambique

European Commission calls on national political parties to join efforts to ensure free and fair elections in Europe

This is how companies are working together to create a world without waste

Pharmaceuticals in the environment: Commission defines actions to address risks and challenges

Opening Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Yang Yanyi, Head of the Chinese Mission to the EU at the Chinese Fashion Night

The EU parliamentary elections, explained

From DIY editing to matchmaking by DNA: how human genomics is changing society

China by numbers: 10 facts to help you understand the superpower today

Switzerland to favour EU citizens in immigration quotas as the risk of a new referendum looms

Trump’s blasting win causes uncertainty and turbulence to the global financial markets

5 things you need to know about creativity

Intel, Almunia and 1 billion euros for unfair potatoes

Refugee crisis update: Commission still in panic while Turkey is to be added in the equation

Cambodia’s schools are the new frontline in the battle against climate change

Most US students aren’t learning about climate change. Parents and teachers think they should

UNICEF delivers medical supplies to Gaza in wake of deadly protests

Food choices today, impact health of both ‘people and planet’ tomorrow

Can indoor farming feed the world?

TTIP’s 11th round major takeaways and the usual “leaked” document

UN chief calls for Security Council to work with Myanmar to end ‘horrendous suffering’ of Rohingya refugees

4 ways blockchain will transform the mining and metals industry

Boris ‘single-handed’ threatens mainland Europe; can he afford a no-deal Brexit?

Finland must focus on integrating migrant women and their children to boost their contribution to the economy and society

We can build a carbon-neutral world by 2050. Here’s how

Dozens of children at risk as clashes in Hudaydah near hospital – UNICEF

EU security and defence industry prepares positions for ‘producers’ and ‘customers’

International community agrees on a road map for resolving the tax challenges arising from digitalisation of the economy

Deal on tightening the rules to stop terrorists from using homemade explosives

Primary Healthcare: Back to the Basics

Chart of the day: These countries have the largest carbon footprints

Egypt urged to free prominent couple jailed arbitrarily since last June: UN rights office

Europe might not avoid new partitioning on Ukrainian crisis

Governments adopt UN global migration pact to help ‘prevent suffering and chaos’

Protecting European consumers: toys and cars on top of the list of dangerous products

VW emissions scandal: EU unable to protect its consumers against large multinationals

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte: “Europe must listen to the people”

Brexit talks started with a London handicap and Brussels’ sternness

To meet development goals, UN agriculture agency ‘cannot only focus on tackling hunger anymore’

Algorithms could give the world its first ‘born digital’ free trade agreement in Africa

The 10 most common types of plastic choking Europe’s rivers

Innovating together: connectivity that matters at ITU Telecom World 2019 – in association with The European Sting

Health: The neglected aspect of climate change

Millions at risk if Syria’s war moves to last redoubt of Idlib, warns senior aid official

We have the tools to beat climate change. Now we need to legislate

Schengen: MEPs adopt their position on temporary checks at national borders

Youth unemployment: think out of the box

A day that Berlin and Brussels would remember for a long time

Reject passivity and embrace ‘responsibility for our future,’ Lithuania’s President tells UN Assembly

Eurostat confirms a dangerously fast falling inflation in Eurozone

Why banks escape from competition rules but not pharmaceutical firms

Eurobarometer: Not a single answer about what the Banking Union will cost to citizens

The world to teach Germans to…un-German

“Airbnb and YouTube are two great examples of a crowd based capitalism”, key stakeholders outline the boundaries of the 4th Industrial Revolution in Davos

Madagascar: UN chief commends leaders, State institutions following ‘historic milestone’ election

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s