Sunday, January 10, 2010


by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.

January 7, 2010

It goes virtually without saying, that I am proud of Iceland and its President.

Iceland President Stands by His People

January 8, 2010 (LPAC)-- Despite the hostility of the governments of Great Britain and the Netherlands, which have threatened to kick Iceland out of the "international community," Iceland President Olaf Ragnar Grimsson is standing by his decision, and defending, in interviews and statements, the right of his people to national sovereignty. In the Financial Times today, he is quoted as saying, "The Icelandic constitution is based on the fundamental principle that the people have sovereignty. It is the responsibility of the President to make sure that the will of the people will prevail."

He then called on the peoples of Britain and Netherlands ("and their political leaders") to stand "with the longstanding democratic traditions of Britain and the Netherlands, acknowledging that a referendum is a democratic way of making a decision," Grimsson was also interviewed in Swedish radio.

In an interview with BBC on Wednesday evening, Grimsson was verbally assaulted by the host, who looked like an attorney for Shylock and treated the President of a state like a felon. "Don't trust an Icelander," "Aren't international agreements more important than a President's will?" and "Are you happy with these results?" (downrating, loss of international credit, etc.) were the interviewer's questions and remarks. Grimsson taught the arrogant fellow a lesson, telling him, "I understand that Britain is not familiar with systems where the people is called to express its will " and that in Iceland, "not the parliament, but the nation is sovereign."

In contrast to the oligarchy, the British people continue to express their sympathy for Icelanders, at least judging from readers' comments continuing to flow in to major dailies (see below). It is probably due to this that a faction of the British establishment, represented by the Financial Times, has taken a distance from the government and openly rejected the "hard-line" approach towards Iceland. Significantly, an FT editorial today is entitled "Do Not Put Iceland in a Debtors' Prison." The FT also chose to publish a letter by Advocacy International, saying that it is "unjust" to make Iceland take sole responsibility for the "reckless behavior of private bankers and risk-takers."

The FT ran as a blowup quote, the view of its chief financial commentator, Martin Wolf: "This is not about cutting a running deficit, which is, indeed, unavoidable. It is about forcing innocent people to assume gigantic liabilities for which they have no legal or moral responsibility. How would U.K. citizens feel if they were forced to assume a debt of £400 billion because of HSBC's failure to meet deposit insurance liabilities in Asia? Let the U.K. take the bank's assets and leave it at that."

Also, Michael Hudson from the University of Missouri writes that "Iceland has the right to refuse debt servitude." Hudson argues that Iceland could pay foreign debt only out of balance-of-payments receipts, i.e. through export revenues. But already fish export revenues have been entirely earmarked to service existing debt; the same goes for aluminum exports and its geothermal and hydroelectric resources. Add to this the fact that most families have mortgages which, if the currency is depreciated, can only get worse, and you have the picture: It is impossible for Iceland to pay the debt. "A pragmatic economic principle is at work in such conditions. Debts that cannot be paid, will not." If we have learned the lessons of the collapse of living standards in post-Soviet Russia, he ends by asking, "by how many years must Icelandic lifespans shorten?"

According to a European banking source, the British and the Dutch are going to dump the burden on Scandinavian countries. On their side, the resistance organization in Iceland is calling on the Scandinavian governments to support them against the London and The Hague.

No comments: