Nationalists Buck Big Bankers; Iceland Purging Lords of Money

 By Pete Papaherakles

Iceland is showing the world what real independence
from the bankers means. The Nordic
island has become the first country to criminally
charge a world leader as a result of the 2008
economic crisis. Former Prime Minister Geir
Haarde, 73,was found guilty of “failing to adequately
inform other Icelandic officials of
events that led up to the 2008 financial
crisis” according to an April
23 New York Times article.
As part of Haarde’s final verdict,
two of the original six chargeswere
dropped and the other three were
cleared. These included “gross neglect
of duty” and “ failure to reduce
the size of the banking system,”
charges that were more serious and could have put
him behind bars for years.
Haarde, who served as Iceland’s prime minister
from June 2006 to February 2009, will not actually
have to serve any jail time but the trialwas indicative
of Iceland’s re-establishment of its sovereignty after
defaulting on the bankers. As many as 90 bankers
and politicians are expected to be brought to trial
this year for crimes related to the targeted debt crisis
Iceland faced.
GEIR HAARDE  Convicted in Iceland.

OLAFOR GRIMSSON  Refused the bailout.

Iceland was the only European country that
dared to default on the bankers. In February 2011
Iceland’s President Olafur R. Grimsson refused to
sign a $5 billion bailout bill and told the bankers he
was going to put the bill to a referendum. Although
44 of the 63 members of Parliament had passed the
bill, Grimsson said he was responding to a popular
demand for a plebiscite after more than 42,000 of
Iceland’s 318,000 inhabitants signed a petition asking
him to block it.
Icelanders absorbed some of the
costs itself but forced foreign investors
to take the biggest hit. Not
deterred by horror stories about an
“unthinkable economic demise”
that have prevented countries
like Greece and Portugal from defaulting,
Iceland has proved that
default was the best thing it could
have done. As a result, not only has the economy not
collapsed since last year, but its gross domestic
product is expected to increase by 2.6 percent this
year.Much of that growth is based on increased production,
mainly in tourism and the fishing industry.
In contrast, most other European economies are either
stagnant or in decline. Even the Times article
admitted thatmany economists say Iceland’s recovery
was aided by the collapse of the banks.
Iceland’s recovery is a shining example for countries
like Greece, Ireland and Spain to follow. History
has proved that countries experience growth
once they get out fromunder the parasitic burden of
debt to the bankers. National Socialist Germany
from 1933 to 1939 is a perfect example.
Real wealth is measured in terms of growth in
agriculture,manufacturing and services. Greece and
Spain have more than half of their highly energetic
youth unemployed, producing nothing. In the U.S.
55,000 factories have shut down in the last decade.
Iceland has shown thatwith regained sovereignty
comes justice and dignity. Corrupt politicians and
bankers can be brought to trial.
Further asserting its independence, Iceland was
the first country, last fall, to recognize Palestine as an
independent nation, a move no country under the
yoke of the international bankers has had the guts
to do. 

Peter Papaherakles, a U.S. citizen since 1986, was born in Greece. He is AFP’s
outreach director. If you would like to see AFP speakers at your rally, contact Pete
at 202-544-5977.

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