The Financial Times reports that Icelandic Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir has harshly criticized both the International Monetary Fund and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown for their treatment of Iceland.
Sigurðardóttir said it was “unacceptable” that the IMF has delayed its review of Iceland by months, holding back loans necessary for the country’s economic recovery. She also criticized Gordon Brown, for the use of an anti-terrorist law to freeze Landsbanki’s UK assets, saying part, “To stamp a friend and a long time ally as a terrorist is an act we will hardly forget” and pointed out, “The British prime minister has said that its not the general public that should suffer from the wrongdoings of the banks but the banks should compensate the public. Obviously he does not count the Icelandic public in [that].”
At the same time, Sigurðardóttir conceded that the collapse of the banks in Iceland was due to domestic incompetence, saying it was “uncontrolled capitalism and greed” as well as “megalomania . . . and cross-ownership of a few players” that fueled the crisis. She added that Iceland had strayed from the social welfare principles of the Nordic countries and towards “an abyss of turbocapitalism and mounting inequalities which proved fatal, especially for a small nation.”
Visit the Financial Times’ View from Europe page for more information, including video stories and interviews on Iceland.