As I have written about in this space before, the current government was elected pretty much on one promise: that they would relieve the debt burden of households whose mortgages had skyrocketed as a result of the economic meltdown.
They have been dragging their feet with this debt write-off [while wasting no time with removing taxes on the rich], and it is looking a whole lot more puny than originally promised. The government’s plan was to tax the hedge funds that have Icelandic krónur locked in the country as a result of capital controls; however, a few months after the election came the announcement that – sorry! – that would not be possible. Instead, the amount promised for the entire write-off package was about a third of the original plan, AND Icelandic taxpayers would have to foot the bill. *shrug c’est la vie* [or something].
WELL, as it happens, it has been announced that today is the day when the scope of the debt relief will be announced, including how much each individual gets. IT’S PAYDAY, FOLKS!
It’s an odd thing that this announcement is being made on the very same day that the second in a series of protests is set to take place on Austurvöllur square. On Monday last week, somewhere between 4,500 and 6,000 people turned out to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with the government’s actions, which are both varied and extensive.
The debt announcement will be made at 1.30 pm. The demonstration is set for 5 pm. It will be interesting to see whether the former has any impact on the latter – for better or for worse.
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