First It Refused To Bail Out Its Insolvent Banks; Now Iceland Set To Officially Withdraw European Union Application

Iceland may be a small country, but when it comes to dealing with big problems it is truly the modern equivalent of David in the battle against the status quo Goliath. First, it was Iceland, and only Iceland, refusing to bail out its banks, when every other western nation was being held hostage by those who stood to lose the most from a financial collapse, and even going so far as throwing some of its banking executives in prison. And now, as MBL reports, Iceland's con­ser­v­a­tive In­de­pen­dence Party will sup­port a res­o­lu­tion in par­lia­ment to for­mally with­draw Ice­land's ap­pli­ca­tion to join the Eu­ro­pean Union.

As MBL further reports, yhis was con­firmed to­day by Bjarni Benedik­ts­son, Min­is­ter of Fi­nance and the par­ty's chair­man, in an in­ter­view with the state broad­caster RÚV.

The EU ac­ces­sion talks were put on hold af­ter the gen­eral elec­tions in April 2013. The elec­tions re­sulted in the In­de­pen­dence Party and the cen­trist Progress Party form­ing a coali­tion gov­ern­ment backed by 38 MPs out of 63 in to­tal. Prime Min­is­ter Sig­mundur Davíð Gunnlaugs­son said ear­lier this month that he ex­pected a res­o­lu­tion with­draw­ing the EU ap­pli­ca­tion to be put to the par­lia­ment soon and For­eign Min­is­ter Gun­nar Bragi Sveins­son, who as Gunnlaugs­son be­longs to the Progress Party, has said it would be sense­less not to with­draw the ap­pli­ca­tion. If any­thing Sveins­son has said there are more ar­gu­ments for do­ing so now than a year ago.

 

The gov­ern­ment put such a res­o­lu­tion to the par­lia­ment last year but the mat­ter was not con­cluded be­fore sum­mer re­cess. Mainly be­cause of a fil­i­busted which was staged by the op­po­si­tion call­ing for a ref­er­en­dum on the is­sue. As a con­se­quence the gov­ern­ment de­cided to post­pone the mat­ter as it con­sid­ered more press­ing to get other is­sues ac­cepted. Pri­mar­ily laws paving the way for a gov­ern­ment pro­gram to re­duce house­hold debts.

 

"This is a res­o­lu­tion which we sup­ported last year," Benedik­ts­son said adding that noth­ing had changed since then. Asked if that meant the con­ser­v­a­tives would sup­port a res­o­lu­tion to with­draw the EU ap­pli­ca­tion he replied: "Yes, we would do that just like we did last time."

So yes, dear Greece: as you prepare for elections whih may result in the first official departure of a European country from the Eurozone, not only has Iceland shown that one can voluntarily not seek to be part of the "greater European good", but in fact voluntarily seek to not be part of said good.

And the cherry on top: as recently as 2013 the country was growing at over 5%: a rate unmatched anywhere in Europe, and on par with the latest annualized US GDP. The one difference, however, is that Iceland does not mandate the "GDP-boosting" and middle-class impoverishing Obamcare.