Did you ever wonder why mainstream media have not talked much about the Icelandic revolution after the economic crisis in 2008?
Did you know that as a result of this economic crisis Icelandic people took over the power which led to:
1. Resignation of the whole government.
2. Nationalization of the bank.
3. Referendum so that the people can make economic decisions.
4. Incarcerating the responsible parties.
5. Rewriting of the constitution by its people via Twitter and Facebook etc?
Following the Iceland Revolution Project’s post on FB, i am sharing with you the full chronology of events which should make it clear to everyone that to all what has been happening in other European countries and USA there was/ is alternative. Austerity and socialization of private loses was not and is not the only solution and way out of this mess.
May 2008: Scandinavian central banks give 1.5 billions euros to the Icelandic bank Glitnir in difficulty due to the American crisis.
Summer 2008: inflation reaches +14.5% in august, the krona is falling -39% since July 2007.
29 September 2008: the government nationalizes Glitnir.
6 October 2008: “Iceland is on the brink of bankruptcy”, said Geir Haarde, Iceland’s prime minister, who argues that emergency laws must come into force and enables the government to take control of the banks if they are in trouble.
7 October 2008: The government takes control of Landsbankinn, the 2nd largest bank of the country. 300 000 Icesave accounts are blocked.
8 October 2008: UK government uses the anti-terrorism law against Iceland.
9 October 2008: Kaupthing the largest bank is taken under control and the Icelandic stock exchange stops.
10 October 2008: 2000 people protests in front of Iceland’s central bank to demand the resignation of David Oddsson.
11 October 2008: Hördur Torfason, an Icelandic singer, songwriter, organizes a “One man’s protest” on Austurvöllur, the square in front of the parliament. People demand that the government resigns.
14 October 2008: Stock exchange starts again but without the 3 banks that were representing 75% of the activity. Norway provides a loan of 400 millions euros.
17 October 2008: Iceland doesn’t get its non-permanent seat at the security council of the UN. Economic problems and the diplomatic crisis with the UK seem to be the cause of this failure.
18 October 2008: 2000 are protesting in front of the parliament.
24 October 2008: The government asks for the support of the IMF.
25 October 2008: 2000 people march from Austurvöllur to the house of the government. Landsbanki’s flag is burnt in public.
29 October 2008: Faeroe Islands lends 40 millions euros to Iceland.
3 November 2008: Norway lends 500 million euros.
8 November 2008: In front of a crowd of 4000 people gathered in Austurvöllur, a flag of the supermarket chain Bonus representing a pink pig, is hoisted on the parliament’s shaft.
10 November 2008: The IMF delays signing of the Icelandic rescue plan. Some consider that the UK and the Netherlands want to solve the problem with Iceland before the IMF sends the money.
15 November 2008: 8000 people are protesting in Austurvöllur demanding the government to resign.
16 November 2008: An agreement is signed between Iceland, the UK and the Netherlands.
19 November 2008: The IMF signs the agreement reached on October 24th and sends money to Iceland: 2.1 billion dollars for 2 years, thus 800 million at the signing. This loan will be refunded between 2012 and 2015. This agreement opens the way to more loan agreements from other nations like Sweden, Denmark, Russia, Japan. In total 3 billion dollars are already gathered.
22 November 2008: A placard is displayed on the parliament’s balcony with the words: IMF – SOLD. The statue of Jón Sigurdsson, the Icelandic independence hero, standing in the middle of Austurvöllur, is dressed up with woman’s clothe in order to show women’s role in the Icelandic society.
29 November 2008: After another protest gathering 5000 people, Hördur Torfason recalls the three demands of the people: resignation of the top executives of the central bank, the financial supervisory authority and the organization parliamentary elections.
6 December 2008: 1500 protesters are in Austurvöllur. Hundreds of people are also protesting in Akureyri, the second largest city of the country.
8 December 2008: 30 activists enters the parliament to disrupt parliamentary works. Later, only 9 of them, know as ” The Reykjavik Nine” will be arrested and prosecuted.
9 December 2008: 40 protesters block the entrance to the ministers.
11 December 2008: In the name of his movement “People’s voice”, Hördur Torfason lays charges against Glitnir’s bailout.
13 December 2008: A petition is put down asking for the Constitution to be revised and for anticipated parliamentary elections.
20 January 2009: Protests intensify with thousands of people showing up to protest at the parliament.
26 January 2009: Resignation of the old right-wing government.
1 February 2009: Social Democratic Alliance forms a new government on minority coalition with the Left-Green Movement, with the support of the Progressive Party and the Liberal Party.
25 April 2009: Parliamentary elections.
4 November 2009: New governing parties decided that Iceland’s citizens should be involved in creating a new constitution and started to debate a bill… Parallel to the protests and parliament deliverance, citizens started to unite in grassroots-based think tanks.
14 November 2009: (Þjóðfundur 2009) National Forum is organized in the form of an assembly of Icelandic citizens at the Laugardalshöll in Reykjavík, by a group of grassroots citizen movements such as Anthil. The Forum would settle the ground for the 2011 Constitutional Assembly and was streamed by the Internet to the publics. 1.500 people were invited to participate in the assembly; of these, 1.200 were chosen at random from the national registry, while 300 were representatives of companies, institutions and other groups.
Late 2009: Jón Gnarr, a famous Icelandic stand up comedian, founds the Best Party, originally a joke party created on the fact that political corruption led to the economic collapse.
5 January 2010: President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson refused to countersign the corresponding Act of Parliament (known as the second Icesave bill) into law.
18 Feburary 2010: The Icelandic Modern Media Institute (IMMI) led by Birgitta Jónsdóttir, enters a parliamentary resolution proposal, commonly known as the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, into Alþing, proposing that Iceland “strongly positions itself legally with regard to the protection of freedoms of expression and information”.
6 March 2010: 2010 Icesave referendum – The referendum was resoundingly defeated, with 93% voting against and less than 2% in favor. The referendum was held to approve the terms of a state guarantee on the debts of the Depositors’ and Investors’ Guarantee Fund (Tryggingarsjóður innstæðueigenda og fjárfesta), in particular a €3.8 billion loan from the governments of the United Kingdom and the Netherlands to cover deposit insurance obligations in those countries. The referendum was held under article 26 of the Icelandic Constitution.
15 June 2010: Jón Gnarr from the Best Party is elected mayor of Reykjavik. His electoral promises included: “Free towels in all swimming pools, a polar bear for the Reykjavík zoo, all kinds of things for weaklings, Disneyland in the Vatnsmýriarea, a “drug-free” Althing by 2020, sustainable transparency, tollbooths on the border with Seltjarnarnes, to do away with all debt, free access to Hljómskálagarðurinn (orchestra rotunda park). Soon after the elections he publicly announced that he wouldn’t honor his promises.
16 June 2010: Constitutional law voted by Althing that authorizes the creation of the constitutional assembly. The same day, the IMMI (Icelandic Modern Media Initiative) is adopted unanimously by Althing. Still the same day, the Constitutional Committee, in charge of supervising the constitutional process and composed of 7 members is appointed.
6 November 2010: The National Forum 2010 is initiated by the government with 950 random participants that would debate a future Constitutional Assembly. The Forum 2010 came in to being due to the efforts of both governing parties and the Anthill group.
27 November 2010: Election of the 25 members of the Constitutional Assembly.
26 January 2011: The Icelandic Supreme Court invalidates the election of the Constitutional Assembly because several problems occurred concerning the confidentiality of the votes.
16 February 2011: The Icelandic parliament agreed to a repayment deal to pay back the full amount starting in 2016, finalizing before 2046, with a fixed interest rate of 3%. President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson refuses to sign this third Icesave law.
24 March 2011: The Althing validates the Constitutional Assembly with the same members that were elected in November.
6 April 2011: The Constitutional Assembly starts its work.
9 April 2011: Second referendum on the icesave dispute. The people say NO – 60/40.
2 May 2011: The Icelandic Ministry of Economic Affairs published a response to the EFTA Surveillance Authority’s letter of 20 May 2010, maintaining that Iceland “did not fail to comply with its obligations under Directive 94/19/EC.”
10 June 2011: The EFTA Surveillance Authority ruled that Iceland should take steps towards paying the full amount to the UK and the Netherlands within 3 months after the ruling. The Icelandic Minister of Economic Affairs Árni Páll Árnason made a statement to the Icelandic Parliament on the same day rejecting this ruling.
17 June 2011: Hördur Torfason arrives in Spain to support the “Indignados” movement launched after the big protests that started on 15 May in la Puerta del Sol, Madrid’s main square.
18 July 2011: The new constitutional draft is released and published on the Internet.
29 July 2011: The draft is presented to the Parliament.
2 September 2011: Landsbanki declares that it can refund itself the British and the Dutch governments after it sold its assets that were reappraised.
4 September 2011: President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson publicly asked for explanations to the EU after Landbanski confirmed it could refund. Therefore, the measures taken by the British and the Dutch governments, as well as the threats from the EFTA seemed to be disproportionate.
31 October 2011: The Occupy Reykjavik movement starts camping in front of the Althing.
7 November 2011: Occupy Reykjavik peacefully occupies a Landsbanki branch in Reykjavik.
23 April 2012: Former Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde is acquitted on the major counts in a trial probing his responsibility for the country’s economic collapse in 2008.
22 May 2012: More than three years after the Icelandic banking collapse, Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander (KFS) says it has repaid nearly all of the £4.6 billion (US$7.2 bln) owed to non-preferential creditors.
24 May 2012: With 35 in favor and 15 against, Althing agrees to organize an advisory national referendum on the Constitutional Council’s proposal for a new constitution no later than October 20, 2012.
7 June 2012: Byr Savings Bank former Chairman Jon Thorsteinn Jonsson and the lender’s ex-Chief Executive Officer Ragnar Zophonias Gudjonsson are found guilty of fraud and sentenced to four and half years in prison by Iceland’s Supreme Court.
30 June 2012: The incumbent president, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, who twice refused to countersign parliamentary bills concerning the Icesave dispute and leading to two referendums, both rejected, is reelected as president for a 5th term.
18 July 2012: Birgitta Jónsdóttir, alongside others, plans on establishing Iceland’s version of the Pirate Party.
3 September 2012: Iceland’s central bank announces the “prudential rules” with the Financial Supervisory Authority in the effort of reducing risks when it retracts blockades on some USD 8 billion (EUR 6.4 billion) in currency now in Icelandic banks. New rules “should limit foreign exchange risk in the financial system, as well as limiting foreign currency liquidity risk; furthermore, they will, in combination, limit the banks’ potential for excessive growth.”
4 Octoberber 2012: French author and journalist Jérôme Skalski releases his book “Le Révolution des Casseroles” – The Kitchenware Revolution – intending to explain the causes of this revolution and the revolution itself.
17 Octoberber 2012: Reykjavík District Court rules that Ingólfur Helgason, former director of Kaupþing Bank in Iceland, must pay Arion Bank, founded after the collapse of the former bank, ISK 9.3 million (USD 75,000, EUR 58,000) because of a bullet loan granted to him in early 2006.
20 October 2012: The answers to the 6 questions asked by the advisory referendum about the new constitutional draft are all YES. Low turnout of 49% is due to the fact that this referendum is non-binding according to the current constitutional process.
3 December 2012: Spanish born Elvira Mendez, author and professor of European law at the University of Iceland, releases his book “La Revolución de los Vikingos”.
17 December 2012: Jós Ásgeir Jóhannesson, former CEO of Baugur investment group, is charged on fraud by an Icelandic court.
29 December 2012: Larus Welding and corporate finance head Gudmundur Hjaltason, two former bosses from Iceland’s Glitnir bank, have been jailed on fraud charges and will spend nine months behind bars.