Icelandic precedent - Never mind the Western media

Have you heard about what happened on October 23 in Iceland? Probably not. Do you know why you have not heard? Because October 23 in Iceland there was a revolution - absolutely peaceful but no less "revolutionary" than others. Which also showed how "dangerous" when "democratic procedures", which are so fond of saying the Liberals are controlled by the majority, not the minority, as usual. It is therefore a good example of Iceland hushed world media, literally disappears - because the last thing the powers of the world would like - is that really an example of Iceland became a model for other countries. But - all in order.
October 23 this year, a referendum was held in Iceland, which adopted a new constitution. This referendum - the final chord in the struggle waged by the people of Iceland since 2008, when Icelanders suddenly learned that as a result of the financial crisis of the country - a member of the European Union, by the way - literally bankrupt.
Surprisingly, it was because of what happened after 5 years of prosperity, provided the "most effective" neo-liberal economy. Built on the fact that in 2003 all the country's banks were privatized, and in order to attract foreign investors, they practiced online banking, which at minimum cost and a relatively high yield.
And indeed, the Icelandic banks have attracted many small British and Dutch investors, and everything went better than ever, and the economy (with the neo-liberal point of view) grew, blossomed and smelled. But there was, as usual, a caveat: the more to attract investment - and the faster growing foreign debt of banks. In 2003, Iceland's debt stood at 200% of GDP, and in 2007 was already 900%. The global financial crisis of 2008 was to "thriving" economy of Iceland fatal blow. The three main Icelandic banks: Landbanki, Kapthing and Glitnir -lopnuli were nationalized, and the crown has lost 85% of its value against the euro. And at the end of the year Iceland declared bankruptcy.
And then it's time to remember that Iceland - a democratic country. But first Icelanders decided to rely on "normal" representative democracy. A few months after the collapse of the Icelandic banks took to the streets to protest against the bankers that caused the crisis, and ignorant politicians who have allowed its development. Protests and riots, eventually forced the government to resign.
The elections were held in April 2009, on the results came to power left coalition, which on the one hand, immediately condemned the neoliberal economic system, but on the other hand, immediately surrendered to the requirements of the World Bank and the European Union to pay off debts of Icelandic banks in total the complexity of three and a half billion euros. This meant that each resident of Iceland for fifteen years would have to pay 100 euros a month - to pay off the debts of some individuals (bank owners) over other individuals.
This was too much even for peaceful Icelanders. And led to quite extraordinary course of events. The idea that citizens have to pay for the mistakes of private financiers that the whole country should be packed tribute to repay private debt, was so unacceptable that spawned a new wave of mass protests. Who literally forced the leaders of Iceland to the side of the majority. As a result, President Ólafur Ragnar Grimsson has refused to ratify the law passed by parliament, which would make the citizens of Iceland responsible for the debts of Icelandic bankers, and agreed to hold a referendum.
There was very characteristic of the "free world" reaction "international community" - on Iceland was put unprecedented pressure. Great Britain and Holland threatened - in the case of non-payment of debts of Icelandic banks to their citizens - the harsh economic sanctions, up to the total isolation of Iceland. IMF threatened to deprive the country of any of their aid. The British government threatened to freeze savings and current accounts Icelanders. But Icelanders did not succumb to the pressure, and the President Grimmson spoke as follows: "We were told that if we do not accept the terms of the international community, we will become the northern Cuba. But if we agree, that would
northern Haiti ».
The referendum was held in March 2010. It Icelanders decided not to return the money to foreign creditors - the UK and the Netherlands - 93% of the participants voted against the payment of bank debt. IMF immediately froze lending. But Icelanders have been unstoppable. With the support of the citizens the government initiated civil and criminal investigations against those responsible for the financial crisis. Interpol issued an international arrest warrant for former president of the bank Kaupthing Sigurdur Einarsson, bankers and others, also involved in the crash fled the country.
But that was not all. Icelanders did not stop there - it was decided to adopt a new constitution that would free the country from the power of international finance and virtual money. In this case, the Icelanders wanted to write a new Constitution themselves, all together. And it worked! Draft Basic Law wrote 950 ordinary citizens arbitrarily chosen (by lottery system) members of the National Assembly in 2010
To finalize the new constitution, the people of Iceland elected (already in the elections), the Constitutional Council, which included 25 people. Ordinary people - fishermen, farmers, doctors, housewives - were elected from among 522 adults who do not belong to any political party, each of which recommended that at least 30 people.
And, according to the Russian "democratic" journalist Paul Gingerbread article characteristically entitled "Every cook can write a constitution": "Especially emphasize that no one in Iceland was indignant that it is impossible to read the biographies of 522 human and political programs, as well as to understand the ballot, which listed the names of so many people ».
Next began finalizing the text of the Constitution and constitutional laws. To quote the same P.Pryanikova: "Well, then, the Council has used crowdsourcing system - access for all people to their work. Offers citizens going through "Facebook", "Twitter" and even "YouTube." Everything from simple Icelanders received 3600 comments to the Council and 370 amendments to the Constitution. Each week, the Council published a new article on the Internet for public comment. After two or three weeks, after viewing suggestions from the public and experts, the Council published the final version of the articles, which are then discussed again. In addition, members of the Council once a week recorded the story of his work and laid it on "YouTube" and their meetings can be viewed in a live broadcast on the Internet. At the end of all 25 members of the Council voted for the finalization of the Basic Law. "We, the people of Iceland, we wish to create a just society where each of us will have an equal place at the table," - these words begins the Constitution ».
In the comments members of the Constitutional Council recognized that the translation into foreign languages ​​the first sentence of the Constitution sounds a bit sloppy, but, in their opinion, it is clear to every Icelander and best reflects the desire to create equal opportunities for all. According to the draft Constitution, the natural resources of the island are located exclusively in the public domain. Of particular interest is an article entitled "Public information and truthfulness", which obliges the government to keep in the public domain, all working documents if they are not a state secret. Also, the Constitution obliges the government to work for the benefit not only of man, but of the Earth and the biosphere. A separate article enshrines the rights of animals.
In an innovative document was a place for a very archaic rules excluded from most European Constitution. Thus, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland maintains state status.
It is worth noting one essential for further developments nuance. The Constitutional Council in its composition was, as called now, "evrosotsialisticheskim." And not so much because the majority of Icelanders leftist, as a result of a rather short-sighted and stupid behavior Icelandic simply right: before the former power "Progressive Party" and "Independence Party" called on their supporters to boycott the elections of the Constitutional Council and the work on the Constitution, and their voters did so.
As a result, in the Council and in the text of the new Constitution and the influence of right-wing conservatives were minimal.
Thus, as a result of the cumulative effects of both objective and subjective factors, most surprisingly master of the situation - and the Constitutional Council, and among the participants in the development of the Constitution, and among voters in a referendum. And the result is so "exceeded expectations" that for more than a month, the world's leading media eloquently silent on the outcome of the Icelandic national referendum on October 23, at which the draft Constitution approved more than 80% of Icelanders with a turnout of 66%.
Well, you understand? Should allow the majority of the development and adoption of the Constitution and constitutional laws, as instead of privatization as a panacea for all the ills of the economy to "receive" the nationalization of resources, rather than a state secret - openness, rather than strictly representative democracy - the elements of direct democracy.
And God forbid (in terms of neoliberal governments around the world) will follow the example of Iceland to other countries. After all, today the same solutions as Iceland 2 years ago, offered to other nations. The people of Greece said that the privatization of their public sector is the only solution. Say the same Italians, Spaniards and Portuguese ...
What if they follow the example of Iceland? Scary to think ...
But this goes! Many of our travelers who hinder cultural rest continuously striking "European pig» (PIGS - a common designation of the four countries of the European Union on the verge of bankruptcy: Portugal (P), Italy (I), Greece (G), Spain (S)), pay note that many banners for some reason often cited Iceland. But these trifles news programs also do not mention - they are interested in the main - the conditions under which these "pigs" graciously agreed to take the proposed loan to pay off the debts of private banks burst.
That's why you did not know anything about the Icelandic referendum - the world's media pretend that nothing happened. After all, the media, as well as governments, as well as parliaments also represent the interests of the ruling class, which - in any country - oh how profitable that most were admitted to the management.
But for all those who are closer to the interests of the majority and who care about real democracy, Icelandic history - this is a lesson. Organized by the majority.
Direct democracy. The actual implementation of the rights of the majority. Folk legislation and national governments. All the things without which true democracy is impossible in principle.
Julia Krizhanskaya, Andrew Crickets

Comment by VP:
Disclaimer Reykjavik compensate Britain and the Netherlands debts legitimate

The court upheld the refusal of Reykjavik to compensate Britain and the Netherlands debts of the bankrupt Icelandic bank.

The Court of the European Free Trade Association on Monday acknowledged the legitimacy of the refusal of Reykjavik compensate Britain and the Netherlands about five billion dollars for the debts of the bankrupt in 2008 during the global financial crisis, the Icelandic bank.
Experts believe that the court's decision will help rebuild the economy of Iceland, its accession to the European Union, and lead to an increase in its credit rating. "Unresolved issues hampered the economic development of the country - said Finance Minister of Iceland Catherine Yuliusdottir. - The verdict put an end to the uncertainty, I think that the court's decision and the success of the economy will affect our credit rating ».
In 2008, the three largest bankrupt Icelandic bank. Among them was "Landsbanki", which actively attract deposits in the UK and the Netherlands through its online branch "Aysseyv." As a result, 400 thousand British and Dutch depositors lost five billion.
The British and Dutch governments compensated for the loss of their citizens and demanded from Reykjavik to reimburse the amount expended. The population of Iceland twice rejected in referendums this requirement.
The Icelandic authorities do not abandon its obligation to return the UK and the Netherlands the amount of compensation to depositors. However, they argue that this should be done not from the state budget, as demanded London and The Hague, and due to the sale of assets "Landsbanki". The trustees of the bank reported that 90 percent of the compensation already paid.


See also

New and interesting