From Iceland — Letters from 2nd issue

Letters from 2nd issue

Published February 8, 2010

Letters from 2nd issue


Dear Grapevine
You are worth a read! Thank you for making my recent visit to Iceland informative and enjoyable! Let me just say that:
1. The letter from CT in Australia to Grapevine (Issue 18) is a load of crap!  Being a fellow Australian I must say that CT must be from whoop whoop and it’s evident from the letter that CT relies too much on the idiot box for finding out what is going on around the world.   Let me put this straight – Iceland does NOT have a bad name in Australia!
2. Despite the constant mention of the financial meltdown, Iceland is a country rich in natural, cultural and social assets (what money can’t buy). So keep your head up Iceland!!
3.  The upside of the financial collapse is the fact that budget travellers like me can now afford to holiday in Iceland.  I would definitely come back again to see more of your beautiful country and ofcourse spend more Krone (note: are the extra zeros really necessary?  getting rid of some of the zeros would definitely make the currency conversion process easier)
4. I had no idea that a country like Iceland was so strict on immigration.  Without the migrant community, my nightly culinary selection in Reykjavik would have been very limited.  I hope your government becomes more open and globally-minded when it comes to immigration policy in the future.
Grapevine, you are the source of local knowledge in Iceland.  Tak!
Kate from Brisbane, Australia
P.S Could you tell the government to turn on the northern lights next time I’m there? Thanks!

Dear Kate,
You were pretty much worth the read too (although we must admit we did a little bit of skimming at times). Nevertheless, thank you for making our recent trip to our inbox a fruitful one. We will respond that:
1. Good to hear Icelanders don’t have a bad name in Australia. Good, also, to hear Aussies haven’t learned what Icelanders think about them. Let’s keep it that way.
2. Alright, alright. We’ll keep our heads up.
3. We will make sure to significantly alter our stupid, good for nothing currency to compensate for your poor math skills.
4. We share your hopes!


Dear Mr Magnusson
    I believe Britain and the Netherlands have bullied Iceland into accepting responsibility for repayment of all monies deposited into the failed Icesave Internet-based bank by British and Dutch residents.
    The repayment, amounting to €12,000 ($A20,000) for every person living in Iceland, ensures the country will for the next few generations be in servitude.  They are paying for the mess left behind by a handful of its rogue bankers and the conservatives of the previous government who responsible for the privatisation process.  A hefty price to pay for fast-tracked EU membership, and it’s all payable in foreign currency.
    This is on top of the 5.5% interest on the £1 billion bailout owed by Iceland to the UK government when the latter invoked the Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security Act 2001 – declaring Iceland as a terrorist state – in order to freeze the assets of Iceland’s banks.
    To date no-one has been brought to account for the Icelandic banks’ collapse, and banking regulations in Iceland and elsewhere have hardly been amended.  Yet another example of a missed opportunity to reform the financial system and to bring those responsible to justice.  Instead we have an innocent public paying for the excesses, and probable breaches of fiduciary duties, of a few.
Chris Turano

Dear Chris,
thank you for your letter. It’s pretty thoughtful. It’s also good to hear not everyone thinks Icelanders are terrorist gremlins.  

Dear Sir,
I see that the Icelandic people are under a lot of pressure to cede their democracy into the European Union.
May I tell our Icelandic kin, that they should resist this at all costs and I say this for the following reasons that are just the tip of the Iceberg of ruin if you join.
1/   You have no democratic or legal control against the European Commission who are the one’s who make the Laws. The European Parliament cannot make nor rescind Laws, it is just a very expensive talking shop.
2/  They wrecked our industry so we now have no real manufacturing base, this was to protect jobs in mainland Europe.
3/  The plundered our once rich fishing waters to the point where our fishermen are out of business and Cod and Haddock are endangered species.
4/  The EU is riddled with corruption losing £4 Billion a year yet no one does anything to stop it, those that try to, lose their jobs for exposing the Commissioners responsible.
5/  It is illegal for the British Government to cede its Sovereignty to a foreign regime, yet the tentacles of corruption now run so deep in our Government that they are doing it illegally.
6/  You will have absolutely no say in the decision making process of the EU because those that make those decicions are not answerable to the people.
7/ The system on which the EU runs is exactly on the old system run by the former Soviet Union, those that run things are unelected and unaccountable; those you elect have no power.  Be warned!
Please don’t let your Government stab you in the back as the British Government has done here bringing ruin and great hardship to the people.
G. Rankin-Moore

Dear Mr. Rankin-Moore,
you paint a pretty bleak picture of the EU, it must be said. But you are surely more experienced in living there than we are, so I guess we oughta listen. We are still pretty confused about the whole thing, I mean, if what you’re saying is even close to true then the EU is a pretty awful union. Still, whatever you’ve got over there can hardly be worse than the feudalist buffoons that have been running Iceland for the past century.

Hello Iceland
The people of Iceland owe the depositors in Icesave precisely nothing. Those
depositors received a high rate of interest to compensate for the fact that
the investment was riskier than normal.
The business (bank) failed, the investors lost their money.  The people of
Iceland are no more responsible for the losses than the people of South
Korea, Australia or the UK.
Not since Bobby Fischer played Boris Spassky has Iceland received so much
international coverage.  Iceland will be seen as heroic by the people of the
world if it acts on principle and refuses to be bullied by the UK and the
Being allowed membership of the EU if they bend over is a very questionable
benefit, especially when measured against the loss of Icelandic honour and
Philip Barton-Founder
The Gold Standard Institute

Dear Philip,
thank you for your letter. My, what a fancy name you have! I wish my name had a hyphen. Anyway, what you’re saying reflects what a lot of folks around here are feeling, and I suppose it has some truth to it. Still, one wonders whether a nation that continually (and despite constant words of warning) elected a government that allowed this to happen [via neglect + corruption] should not bear some responsibility for its actions.

I am very proud of Iceland’s quick response to the Haiti disaster! I was in your country in the l960s and have been a “fan” of your beautiful country and gracious people ever sense!!!
William Barton

Dear William,
thank you for your letter. We must admit, we were pretty proud of our rescue squads too. Hopefully they made a difference over there, lord knows those good people make a heap of difference over here.
But maybe pride is the wrong feeling to evoke during such a disaster. Without disparaging the rescue teams’ good work, I feel the most appropriate emotion from the international community should be shame. Shame for ignoring the plight of Haiti and so many other nations out there for far too long. And for benefiting off their misery.

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