From Iceland — Unhappy With the IMF

Unhappy With the IMF

Published October 29, 2009

Economist and Leftist-Green MP Lilja Mósesdóttir does not want to see the IMF extend its stay in Iceland, and believes its promised loan is unnecessary.
Mósesdóttir told Vísir that “At this time I don’t see the need to accept this loan right now, except maybe to increase confidence in the kronur by putting the money into the treasury. On the other hand, while it may increase people’s trust in the crown, the economic predictions of the IMF could harm that confidence.”
The International Monetary Fund announced yesterday that it has agreed to review Iceland’s economic plan, which will in all likelihood mean greater financial support from the fund.
The first loan payment, to arrive in a short amount of time, is estimated to be 168 million USD. Shortly thereafter, a loan from the Nordic countries will follow, which will be significantly greater; about 639 million USD. Both of these loans are to be used to help the stabilisation and renewal of Iceland’s economy.
There are mixed opinions about the IMF among Icelanders, none of them especially positive. At the very least, the IMF is seen as a temporary albeit necessary evil that should be paid off as soon as possible – even Minister of Finance Steingrímur J. Sigfússon said as much, when he told reporters earlier this month that the IMF would “not spend one day longer than it needed to” in Iceland. Others have contended that the IMF burdens nations with large loans and high interest rates, keeping them beholden and under a weight of debt that, for many, is all but impossible to escape.

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