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Icelands government falls to protests!

Just read and maybe it might enlighten to the positives of more radicle protests.

Iceland: Financial Crisis Brings Down Government
January 26, 2009 | From theTrumpet.com
Governments across Europe are taking note as the financial crisis claims another victim.

Violent protests and growing dissatisfaction with the government's handling of the economic crisis caused Iceland's Prime Minister Geir Haarde to call for early elections Friday.

Iceland had its worst street riots in 50 years as 2,000 protesters—out of a population of just 320,000—took to the streets of Reykjavik on Thursday, hurling paving stones at Iceland's parliament building. The day before, protesters threw eggs and soft drinks at Haarde's limo.

Iceland's economy has been hit hard by the financial crisis, and the people are holding the government responsible. Unemployment has risen sharply; inflation is also rising. Economists predict the economy will shrink by 10 percent.

Iceland will hold elections in May. Geir Haarde says he will not run again, due to a malignant tumor in his throat. Polls suggest that left-wing parties will make big gains in the elections. Haarde's Euroskeptic party is set to lose a lot of votes.

This is about more than Iceland though. Leaders across Europe are worried that their governments could share Iceland's fate. Mass protests have also hit Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary and Greece.

The head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, predicts the downturn will cause more unrest. It could happen "almost everywhere, in Europe certainly, and also in emerging countries," he said in an interview with the bbc last Wednesday. "You've had some strikes that look like normal, usual strikes, but it may worsen in the coming months." Later, he added, "The situation is really, really serious."

EU ambassadors in Brussels are closely monitoring the issue. European leaders have organized a summit in March to discuss the rising protests.

Social unrest caused by the credit crisis is certainly a trend to watch. A whole swath of right-wing parties took power in the wake of unrest and economic collapse in the 1929 Depression.

Greens 26.Jan.2009 17:36

Den Mark, Vancouver

What this article does not say is that the Left-Green Party, i think it's called, which used to be a minority party, is now front-runner in polls. Icelanders are sick of their two previous "major" parties. Looks like a template for what should happen here! Of course, two differences occur to me: 1) Iceland's Left-Greens are more "leftist" than Green Party USA; 2) Icelanders are smarter about politics than Americans, MUCH MUCH smarter. Anyway, i voted Green in November, am proud of it, & know that all progressives should have done same. Democrats don't get it.

It had nothing to do with money 26.Jan.2009 18:24


Iceland is broke. It took down the USSR and may take down the US. The failure had nothing to do with protests and everything to do with net worth and income.

meet the new boss 26.Jan.2009 21:52

same as the

American readers should understand that when Europeans say a "government" collapses, it's about the same level of power shift as when Newt Gingrich was replaced as House Speaker in the U.S. in 1998. That is, it's part of business as usual and the normal operations of party politics.

It does NOT mean that the State has failed, as in Somalia or Afghanistan, or been overthrown.

In the U.S. the word "government" is used to refer to the entire power apparatus of a state, or of the Union as a whole. In most of the world the word "government" means about the same thing as what Americans mean when we refer to an "administration."

A corollary fact is that in most of the world executive and legislative powers are not "co-equal branches" expected to "check and balance" each other in a kind of shell game, but rather the executive is clearly subordinate to the legislature, which is the highest elected authority.

If America had a normal constitution, Nancy Pelosi would be prime minister and run the government, and Robert Byrd would be "president" and ceremonial head of state without much actual power. If Congress got pissed about how the country's affairs were being run, Pelosi would be replaced as P.M. and the headlines would say "the government has fallen."