IMMI - The Icelandic Modern Media Initiative

The Icelandic Modern Media Initiative is seeking to create an international safe haven for journalism. it's an amazing project that could have an international ripple effect on journalism.

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Alas if only Iceland had a true democracy! The voters overwhelmingly rejected paying the tax burden required to bail out banksters who'd made foolish decisions and put their banks in trouble. Their government then proceeded to ignore the will of the people and passed legislation that would tax them to bail out the banksters anyways.

They have no more of a democracy than we have.

I'm not sure what you are talking about. There's nothing in the Icelandic news tonight about the Althingi passing new legislation to reimburse the Uk & Netherlands for Icesave.

Or antyhing to address it, either. But their leadership was already discussing rejecting the will of the people before the vote. I still can't get over the fact  that 93% of the people voted to reject paying of the banksters debts. Go against that many people and I am sure you will piss off enough people to bring the revolutionary pot to a high boil.

The thing that truly worries me? In the USA if this were actually put to a vote, I am certain enough people are not educated enough to figure out that they should vote against theft like this. And the traditional media sure as heck would not do their part to help explain it to them. They still concentrate on the "Mortgage crisis" simply because that is the narrative the political parties concentrate on.

Just to help clarify what's happening in Iceland.

Landsbanki offered online savings accounts with ridiculously high rates of interest under the name of Icesave (as more information leaks out, it's becoming increasingly clear that it was a ponzi scheme to benefit Landsbanki directors). These Icesave accounts were permitted to operate in the UK & Netherlands even though some regulators had warned against allowing the accounts. Both the UK & the Netherlands have a higher deposit guarantee than either the EU or Iceland. Fast forward, bank fails...and now Iceland's people are expected to pay the cost.

Meanwhile, not too long ago, another bank in Iceland, Kaupthing, had its loan book leaked on Wiki-leaks. It showed the bank granting huge unsecured loans with no collateral to various insiders. Icelanders are pretty angry because little has been done to go after the people responsible. (story)

Scroll two diaries down.

I think there must be a misunderstanding about what is happening currently in Iceland.

I watch the Icelandic news every night - there is NO new legislation out of Althingi. Yes, a group of members of Althingi are currently trying to re-negotiate a more acceptable compromise to the last agreement that was rejected by the recent referendum.

That March 6 referendum was the result of the President refusing to sign the legislation that Althingi had passed on an extremely narrow margin (iirc, of +1 vote.) That in turn triggered the referendum vote as per Iceland's constitution.

The referendum vote - while on the surface an up or down vote on reimbursing the UK & Netherlands governments at a certain rate - Icelanders themselves saw the referendum vote as reflecting broader sentiments on:

1. Confidence in the current governing coalition (falling)

2. Reimbursing the UK & Netherlands for Icesave losses (Big no)

3. Joining the EU (interest is rapidly waning)

4. Adopting the euro (waning)

5. Independence of Iceland from outside countries (gaining)