From Iceland — Europe Wakes Up To Crisis

Europe Wakes Up To Crisis

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Published January 27, 2009

At last, the rest of the world has been shaken awake from its slumber of indifference, although it has taken the downfall of the entire Iceland government to make them sit up and pay attention.

Considering the current glut of media reports on the multitude of financial shenanigans that have sealed Europe’s downward spiral into recession it is surprising that a story with the classic ingredients of violence, politics and an island in the middle of nowhere has, until now, sat so low in the news pecking order until the coalition officially split.

Right up until yesterday morning (Monday) the limited number of news outlets covering the on-going crisis didn’t seem willing to take a punt on the likely outcome of the events of last week, with stories focusing on Geir Haarde’s illness and cautious questions on how the coalition might function until May rather than how it has become clear that the core protesters will not stop until they get they want – a new Government. That much has been obvious for some days now to the casual observer abroad.

The rest of this week’s newspapers will contain some very matter-of-fact reporting on the coalition break-up with the occasional more colourful piece submitted by on-the-scene journalists, but the real news agenda for the weekend will be set by the first person or party to grasp the issues and suggest a way out of this mess that appeals sufficiently to the people still out protesting.

With such an active minority behind them, that person or party will be sat on the crest of a very strong and influential wave of opinion that could lead them straight past the floundering remains of the coalition and into the Althing.

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