[ View the story "Iceland rising?" on Storify] Iceland rising? We talk to the Icelandic Prime Minister about his country's economic rebound.
The Stream· Mon, Sep 02 2013 11:08:00
Iceland was one of the
countries in the 2008 financial crisis. The government's response was heavily criticised, yet it ultimately pulled the country out of a recession.
@keeptalkingGR #Iceland economy grew 4.4% in the year to the first quarter, unemployment is back below 4%, and the banks are now liquidAbm
Iceland's story of recovery is often portrayed as a strategy that bailed out the people, contrary to other Western nations that chose to assist their financial institutions.
Iceland ditched austerity, nationalised banks and jailed bankers, now has growth of 2.4%. UK didn't, now our economy has flatlined.Allister
But admiration for the government's economic policies is not shared by all Icelanders. After dealing with years of rising debt and higher costs of living from inflation, citizens voted out their centre-left government in April, and
it with the centre-right parties largely blamed for creating the country's original economic disaster.
The new government has promised to improve living standards by reducing taxes and homeowner's debt.
Via social news forum Reddit:
This vote is actually kind of understandable, since it's something that has been seen in global elections: a reaction against austerity.josephgordonreddit
I see this really as the losing governments own fault, as they went against public opinion on key issues like the Icesave Dispute and EU membership and also failed to properly address the biggest election issue which was the debts on ordinary households. Vondi
It feels better than it did in 2008 but it's still quite bad. Especially considering that many people, homeowners in particular, are indebted to up to several times the worth of all their assets. That's not a good situation for anyone.kanaga
The Stream asked its online community:
Should Iceland's economic strategy be used in other countries?
@AJStream It certainly should not as it has yet to pay its debts and fix its economic system. Iceland just postponned its problemsAd Virgilium
Would joining the EU benefit Iceland economically?
@raisazaidi #EU is already a sinking boat. If Iceland joins EU it would be a real suicide for them-on the contrary, a lifeboat for the EUCaramele
@AJStream @julito77 Look at how Iceland bailed out its people in crash. If they join EU, banks will become "too big to fail." #Iceland #EUMustafa Saied
@ajstream to me iceland should join the EU cause such association help in so many ways of developing its members statesMustapha aliyu
Groups like "
) were created on social media in support of Iceland joining the EU.
Are you in Iceland? How is the country's economy progressing? Let us know in the comments.