Fuck me sideways – Iceland’s government just collapsed!


As posted on the website of Saving Iceland:

Mótmæli við ÞjóðleikhúsiðToday the Icelandic government collapsed. Geir H. Haarde, Iceland’s former prime minister announced this early today after a row of government meetings. Yesterday, Björgvin G. Sigurðsson, the minister of business, announced that he would take on his responsibility, resign and fire the directors of the Financial Supervisory. At this moment it is unclear what kind of a government will take over control until May 9th when elections have been announced.

Since the collapse of the Icelandic economy in October 2008, the current Icelandic government formed by Samfylkingin (social democrats) and Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn (right wing conservatives), has been under heavy pressure. Every Saturday for 16 weeks people have gathered by the parliament and demanded that the government will resign, the board of the Financial Supervisory and the Central Bank will be fired, and elections will take place as soon as possible.Apart from the Saturday protests, other more radical actions have taken place during this period; people have repeatedly tried to stop government meetings from taken place, stormed in to the parliament and financial institutions and organized noise demonstrations by official buildings. The climax of the protests took place last Tuesday, January 20th, when the parliament was set after a long Christmas holyday. Thousands of people gathered around the parliament to take part in a noise demonstration that lasted for 14 hours. Since then, people have gathered daily in the center of Reykjavík, lit bonfires and protested against the government.

A whole lot of new grassroots groups and organizations have stood up with new ideas and demands; from reformist ideas about changes inside the system to radical changes – even a new democracy. Endless articles have been written, public meetings taken place and new political websites put up.

Right now it is unclear what will happen here in Iceland, but most likely Samfylkingin and Vinstri Grænir (VG – the left greens) will form a government tomorrow with the support of Framsóknarflokkurinn (The right wing progressive party) and Frjálslyndi Flokkurinn (the liberals).

We will bring more news and updates later.

Further coverage:
Associated Press
The Economist


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