Well, after a marathon session this evening, Iceland’s parliament finally voted to assume a sovereign guarantee for the Icesave debt by a narrow margin – 33-30.
Prior to that, a proposal to postpone the vote yet again was rejected, as was a proposal to call a national referendum on the matter.
I’m so relieved it’s over. The whole thing had just become a nightmare, to the point where most normal people just couldn’t exercise any sort of healthy judgment on it. There was an immense amount of fear mongering on both sides and the Independence Party clung to it like a lifeline – after all, it has been their best chance of getting back into power.
Lára Hanna Einarsdóttir, one of this country’s most formidable bloggers, dug up an old video from about a year ago where Bjarni Benediktsson, leader of the IP, pontificates about Icesave, and it is outrageous to watch. His argument is the complete, 180-degree opposite of what it has been in the last few months and weeks. It is downright sickening to watch how the party that is most responsible for plunging us into the Icesave nightmare and which had signed a letter of intent accepting a sovereign guarantee just over a year ago has whitewashed itself of the whole thing and systematically worked to have the Icesave deal rejected – all because manipulating the Icesave debacle is the best way to whip up antagonism and ill-will against the current government.
Meanwhile, one of the main players in the IP and the entire collapse sits up at Morgunblaðið’s editorial offices and systematically works to rewrite history.
In my opinion the Icesave matter has brought out the worst in Icelandic society – from its ostentatious beginnings to its bitter, sorry end.
Farewell Icesave, let me spit in your wake.
[PS – I should mention that the matter is not completely over yet — the president has yet to sign the bill, and scores of people are urging him to veto it. However, I don’t anticipate he will.]