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Iceland Just Says "Nei" To Pro-European Party

Tyler Durden's picture


During the crisis Iceland was held up as one of the best examples of what was so wrong with the bubble that was created and sold to any and all. The party in power during this debacle was summarily dismissed by the people. However, a mere few years later, and given the apparent abhorrence with all things European, the Icelandic people have just ousted the incumbent pro-Europe party in favor of the Independence and Progressive parties that governed during the crisis. As the WSJ reports, the Social Democratic Alliance, which had overseen economic recovery and pushed for European Union membership, saw support tumble as the electorate's concern about personal finances overshadowed the ruling coalition's ability to stabilize the economy. Couple this with the promises of the two parties to cut taxes and the sweell of nationalist sentiment and the Social Democrats were summarily crushed. The leader of the Progressive party perhaps summed up the poeple's views best: "deeper integration with a Europe in "historic decline" isn't necessarily the best for Iceland," and that "economic crisis in Iceland and Europe has taught us the importance of being able to control your own destiny." Of course, as with any election, lots of promises are made; "they have really been promising the moon, people might get dissatisfied when they see that not everything can be realized."


Via WSJ,

Icelanders voted to bring back leaders who had ruled the remote island nation as it sank into economic collapse, signaling a more isolated future for a country that in recent years had appeared set to solidify ties with Europe.


The Independence and Progressive parties - which had governed the small Nordic state in 2008 as a thinly regulated banking sector accumulated assets that dwarfed the country's economic output - snagged more than half the votes in Saturday's elections, according to final results published by national broadcaster RUV on Sunday.




The Social Democratic Alliance, which had overseen economic recovery and pushed for European Union membership, saw support tumble as the electorate's concern about personal finances overshadowed the ruling coalition's ability to stabilize the economy.


Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, head of the Progressive Party, said in an interview this month that deeper integration with a Europe in "historic decline" isn't necessarily the best for Iceland, and that "economic crisis in Iceland and Europe has taught us the importance of being able to control your own destiny."




If the two parties form a coalition, they will take control of a nation that remains solidly dependent on a few industries, such as fishing and tourism. But opening the economy to outside investors could remain a challenge because of the capital controls, and lowering taxes may not be as easy as promised.


"It will be difficult to lower taxes in the current economic situation," Mr. Helgason said. "And it's doubtful whether any foreign investor is interested in putting large sums of money into Iceland now that we have strict capital controls and Europe is in a crisis as well."




"They have really been promising the moon," Egill Helgason, a political commentator in Iceland, said on Sunday. "People might get dissatisfied when they see that not everything can be realized."




In the wake of the crisis, Iceland put in place capital controls that made it impossible for some foreigners to get their money out of the country. While designed to be temporary, those capital controls remain and are among the biggest hurdles for regaining international interest in the Icelandic economy.



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Mon, 04/29/2013 - 13:00 | 3510458 piliage
piliage's picture

Iceland now BBB investment grade after only three years. How does that taste Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Cyprus, Spain?

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 13:07 | 3510485 iDealMeat
iDealMeat's picture

Pirate Party ??   Need to get me some info on that..  My kind of peeps..


Mon, 04/29/2013 - 13:13 | 3510502 Shell Game
Shell Game's picture

Lost in translation, it is really the Viking Party, headed by Ragnar Lodbrok..   ;)

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 13:36 | 3510569 espirit
espirit's picture

More on the issue in Iceland from Baldur and StudioTendra...

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 14:34 | 3510778 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

They remain my heroes. Normal everyday people took back their government, got into office, told the criminal worldwide banking system to fuck off, chased bankers all over the world and even brought some back for jail.

There's no clearer lesson. Nothing will happen until these two "competing" parties are both defeated and something actually representing some public voice plays a role 

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 15:20 | 3510925 BTFDemocracy
BTFDemocracy's picture

In Sweden, the Pirate Party exists because political parties have political immunity.
This enables them to host servers there without Police / legal interference. It is because the party's belief is 'no copyright'.

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 17:14 | 3511294 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Vikings are WAY cooler than pirates.  Pirates looked like Johnny Depp arseholes. 

Vikings look like they played in a cool heavy metal band (not Motorhead with Lemmy).

+100 to the Icelanders

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 13:12 | 3510507 McMolotov
McMolotov's picture

Yeah, I love all the party names. I'm sure there are legitimate differences, but they seem to vary from hard Left to not quite as hard Left, and they sound as loony as the ones from Cyprus, especially "Bright Future Party."

Of course, as loony as they sound, they're still much better than the phony two-parties-that-are-actually-one-party thing we have here in the US. We should just be honest and say our one and only choice is the "Ha-Ha, You're Screwed Party."

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 13:30 | 3510541 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

It's hard to classify Iceland by conventional US political ideology.  But with a name like the Progessive party and self defined as a liberal party, how much hope do they have.

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 13:45 | 3510583 Joe A
Joe A's picture

I don't think that US political ideology saw Iceland anything other than a nice landing strip for US fighters and bombers, regardless of which party is in power.

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 13:47 | 3510601 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

It doesn't matter who wins, all elections are rigged.

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 14:57 | 3510842 Joe A
Joe A's picture

As well as the markets. Everything is rigged.

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 13:41 | 3510573 prains
prains's picture

yes iceland would be better served by a two party state that way it's easier for the bankers to kleptoize them, five fucking partys is way too much work and leaves the possiblity of some fringe wingnut telling the banks TGFT and blowing the whole sham open for all to see. not that that would help anyway

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 14:19 | 3510696 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Does it matter how many partys, there are six on the chart. YET it always comes down to the top 2 which they finace.  And the article says,

"The Independence and Progressive parties - which had governed the small Nordic state in 2008 as a thinly regulated banking sector accumulated assets that dwarfed the country's economic output."



Mon, 04/29/2013 - 13:01 | 3510462 silverserfer
silverserfer's picture

Ice Cold Gold. Bitchez 

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 13:02 | 3510468 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Iceland's bank depositors about to be unpleasantly surprised by the Troika in 5....4....3....2....

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 13:10 | 3510492 RSBriggs
RSBriggs's picture

Hahaha - good luck to the Troika - they can't do shit about Iceland. 

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 14:05 | 3510636 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I wouldn't be so sure of that. If the Troika wants you dead you are, or soon will be, dead. Regardless of whether you think you have withdrawn from the global (central) banking system.

There is no place to run, no place to hide on this big blue marble unless you are totally self sufficient and have a large standing army. The Troika will find some country to do its bidding if it wants to make an example of Iceland.

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 14:59 | 3510850 mick_richfield
mick_richfield's picture

Iceland has some guys who could take care of that Troika any time.




You cut off our credit? 

We cut off your sunlight for 3 years.

You give us Kondratiev Winter?

We give you Fimbulwinter .


Mon, 04/29/2013 - 15:22 | 3510936 malikai
malikai's picture

You guys sound like you know how to party.

Where do I sign up?

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 13:18 | 3510520 Fuh Querada
Fuh Querada's picture

Nothing to spend the EU Junta bribe money on in Iceland- virgins, hot springs and volcanic eruptions all free.

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 13:36 | 3510566 Things that go bump
Things that go bump's picture

They have virgins in Iceland?

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 14:49 | 3510832 mick_richfield
mick_richfield's picture

Yes, and the virgins have large brothers with names like Bjorn and Einar who have spears and throwing-axes.

So just watch a travelogue or something.   

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 16:25 | 3511021 Albertarocks
Albertarocks's picture

Yeah, no I wouldn't mess with Bjorn or Einar either no matter how tempting their sister might be.

God damn I'm starting to love those Icelanders more and more every day.  I always did think they were probably cool people, but now I 'know it'.

EDIT:  By the way have you ever seen this clip of the "Techno Viking"?  Holy shit is this an entertaining piece of video.  This is Einar.  He's the small one.

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 17:29 | 3511365 Freddie
Freddie's picture

Magnús Ver Magnússon (born April 22, 1963) is a former powerlifter and strongman competitor from Egilsstaðir, Iceland. Magnus won the title of World's Strongest Man four times (1991, 1994, 1995, and 1996).

When I used to watch shit TV - this guy was a beast in the World's Strongest Man competition.  Only 6'3" and 287 lbs. He was smaller than some of the other guys. 

Magnús began powerlifting in 1984, and in 1985 he won a medal in the junior European and World Championships. He won the Senior European title in the 125 kg (276 lb) class in 1988 and 1990. His best lifts in competition include a 400 kg (882 lb) raw squat, 275 kg (605 lb) bench press with shirt and 250 kg raw bench press, 375 kg (827 lb) raw deadlift, and a raw total of 1015 kg (2238 lb). He once held the world record for a tire deadlift of 445 kg (981 lb).

This guy had what the Vikings had. 


Tue, 04/30/2013 - 01:17 | 3512842 Albertarocks
Albertarocks's picture

Glad you mentioned that.  I'm very familiar with who Magnus is.  I also used to watch shit TV back then.  Both my children were terrific athletes and we really enjoyed watching those WSM competitions together.  We certainly respected and understood what Magnus was really bringing to the table.  Man, what a champion he was... a living legend.  Very impressive indeed.  All of us really enjoyed those competitions and were definitely fans of Magnus.  He truly was amazing.

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 13:03 | 3510469 Fuku Ben
Fuku Ben's picture

Just received a text


Iceland smart

Rest of world not so much

Must use power club on tyrants



Captain Caveman



Mon, 04/29/2013 - 13:02 | 3510472 Gringo Viejo
Gringo Viejo's picture

Fuck you and the Euro you rode in on!

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 13:07 | 3510490 Debtonation
Debtonation's picture

WTF is the Pirate Party?

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 13:10 | 3510498 RSBriggs
RSBriggs's picture

From Wikipedia

Pirate Party is a label adopted by political parties in different countries. Pirate parties support civil rights, direct democracy and participation, reform of copyright and patent law, free sharing of knowledge (Open content), information privacy, transparency, and freedom of information. They advocate network neutrality and universal, unrestricted access to the Internet as indispensable conditions to some of this.

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 13:11 | 3510506 akak
akak's picture


Mon, 04/29/2013 - 13:30 | 3510545 espirit
espirit's picture

Cue Slewie in 3..2..1..

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 13:31 | 3510552 kito
kito's picture

akak for president.......................

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 14:37 | 3510790 Hulk
Hulk's picture

He needs a black toothed wench...

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 14:43 | 3510810 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

most of our party's secrets are buried.

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 13:36 | 3510565 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

is that anything like "butt pirate"?

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 14:38 | 3510795 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Or a trouser pilot ????

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 16:36 | 3511207 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

That's only if you're swabbing the poop deck.

<cymbal crash>

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 13:45 | 3510595 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Who else promised more civil rights, democratic participation, transparency, and freedom of information.  Oh yeah, the Obunga party did in 2007 before they were elected.

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 13:12 | 3510501 W T F II
W T F II's picture

They HAVE TO have "Shiver Me Timbers" as Party slogan

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 13:28 | 3510538 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

Pieces of eight would be better.

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 13:10 | 3510494 W T F II
W T F II's picture

"10th Ave Freeze-Out"...selling "Eat Blubber" t-shirts in Reykjavik

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 13:09 | 3510499 Dollar Bill Hiccup
Dollar Bill Hiccup's picture

Long ELVES ...

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 13:20 | 3510517 suteibu
suteibu's picture

Same thing happened in Japan.  August 2009 - conservative* LDP (Liberal Democratic Party) out for the socialist* DPJ (Democratic Party of Japan).  December 2012 - LDP back in power.

* These terms no longer matter as they have become a distinction without a difference.

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 13:21 | 3510521 shutdown
shutdown's picture

European demographics is the problem.

I wish tomorrow there would be 300,000,000 Icelandic Vikings and 250,000 of the rest of Europe. If so, this economic nonsense would be boy howdy fixed quick. 

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 13:22 | 3510527 monopoly
monopoly's picture

This proves that Nothing will change. Countries will continue to print, forget austerity and try to make their economies grow with ever more debt. And it will continue this way until the printing presses are taken away from our idiotic Central Bankers all around the world. At that point it is game over and not before. So short these insane markets at great peril to your monopoly money.

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 13:26 | 3510535 Seahorse
Seahorse's picture

'Left Greens' - we make bubble and squeak out of those...

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 13:32 | 3510543 TNTARG
TNTARG's picture

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! A little fresh air from Iceland!


Mon, 04/29/2013 - 13:29 | 3510544 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Screw the so called "international investors"! WTF did humans ever do, before these blood-sucking parasites came along?

In the end, they get to buy and build with what they got, and no new version of Voodoo finance will change Nature or life on that rock.

They can always charge the DoD higher rent for their base. I mean, it's not like they lack paper money from the Fed. /s

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 15:06 | 3510879 Things that go bump
Things that go bump's picture

It was a hard life there in the past, more challenging than in Europe. For nearly 1000 years they lived in houses made of sod. Other than some short, stunted, scrub birch early on no trees grew in Iceland. People had a certain stretch of coastline where they had the right to gather driftwood and this was vigorously defended. There is evidence that in the early days they shared their homes with their cows. They could grow some barley, rye and oats and sometimes a little wheat in the southern-most regions and they didn't even have a real plow, just a stick with a long blade without the flares that would turn the furrows. Only the very strong survived and resources were scarce enough that the weak and sometimes girls were not raised before the Christian era (and maybe after). Most spent their summers in a frantic struggle to make hay enough to keep their livestock alive during the winter and put by enough to feed themselves. It took about 4-8 acres of hay to support 1 cow. All of this had to be cut by hand. Because of the difficulty of life in that country, farms were widely scattered and had to be completely self-supporting. They were worked by the farmer and his extended family, their slaves and hired help, and all of those people had to be supported through the winter, as well. I have no idea where they found the time for all that feuding. A traveler who stopped there, in I think the 18th century, kept a diary of what he saw there that is still extant today. He said that in winter they threw all the coverings, including their clothes, on the bed and climbed in, and that is where they spent most of their time during the winter months, and winters are long and dark in Iceland. The people who settled Iceland moved there because they would not accept the rule of kings - a fiercely independent bunch. There are people there alive today who can probably trace their line back to the sons of Ragnar Lodbok (genealogy was always very important in Iceland). I would bet money on them. 

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 15:42 | 3511001 kerles
kerles's picture

you know your stuff.

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 16:51 | 3511235 Things that go bump
Things that go bump's picture

Amateur mediavalist with a penchant for the Norse.

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 18:07 | 3511480 akak
akak's picture

And thank you for not automatically referring to the Norse as "Vikings" --- that almost ubiquitous if idiotic misidentification always infuriates me in its gross ignorance.  It would be like referring to EVERYONE from Los Angeles as "Gang Bangers", or everyone from the Middle East as "Islamic Jihadists".

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 13:35 | 3510559 ZeroPoint
ZeroPoint's picture

So how soon before Al-Queda is discovered operating in Reykjavic or WMDs? Are they ready to be Libya-ed or Mali-ed?


Mon, 04/29/2013 - 13:49 | 3510598 Joe A
Joe A's picture

Perhaps pressure cookers will be found on Iceland which will prompt humanitary intervention. These geisers over there also build up some pressure. Also, rotten fish can be considered a WMD. Don't worry, Colin Powell is already busy with photoshop.

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 13:59 | 3510623 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

That's right.  It is a natural pressure cooker isn't it.  Think of the environmental impact it could have if it's not properly depressurized.

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 14:05 | 3510635 akak
akak's picture


Also, rotten fish can be considered a WMD

If you had ever had a close-up and personal encounter with hakarl, you would not say that so flippantly.

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 13:43 | 3510585 trollin4sukrz
trollin4sukrz's picture

Indeed, it is not wise to say no to the mob from Khazaria-ashkenazi

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 13:47 | 3510586 trollin4sukrz
trollin4sukrz's picture

Now may my house get droned for telling the truth?

Mon, 04/29/2013 - 14:01 | 3510619 THE DORK OF CORK
THE DORK OF CORK's picture

Speaking as a Irishman - the last thing you need is international interest in your economy.


They will seek to destroy you.


Pre Europe we were a semi colony of the UK integrated with that system (although with a few national systems that gave us some redundancy) , post Europe we became a Imperial market for European entrepot activities.


When that entrepot system imploded in 2008 they sought to turn us into a hinterland for their now smaller entrepot activities.


Europe is a fucking nightmare.



Mon, 04/29/2013 - 14:02 | 3510629 tpgaynor
tpgaynor's picture

Go Vikings!! Beat Bear's!!....



Mon, 04/29/2013 - 19:13 | 3511679 Mototard at Large
Mototard at Large's picture

Having been to Iceland a couple of times and having spent some time in the North Atlantic in frigates, I get this picture in my mind as I read the article.

***The people of Iceland are in a lifeboat and voting on whether they should:

a.  tie themselves closer to that large European owned cruise ship which has just hit an iceberg, or

b.  cut the ropes and just sort of sail off on their own.

Looks like they chose to cut the ropes and hope for the best on their own.  Smart folks I would say.


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