Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Iceland refuses to do as it is told

Not being absolutely sure about Ambrose Evans-Pritchard's information and analysis I checked this one out with my friend Hjörtur J. Guðmundsson, a leading Icelandic eurosceptic and author of the blog Iceland and the European Union. He said that as far as he knew this was true. So here goes.
The OECD has come very close to predicting a depression for Europe unless EU leaders conjure up a lender-of-last resort very quickly, and somehow manage to make the world believe that the EFSF bail-out fund really exists.

Even if disaster is avoided, the eurozone growth forecast is dreadful. Italy, Portugal, Greece will all contract through 2012, while Spain, France, Netherlands, and Germany will bounce along the bottom.

Unemployment will reach 18.5pc in Greece, 22.9pc in Spain, 14.1pc in Ireland, 13.8pc in Portugal.

Yet Iceland stands out, with 2.4pc growth and unemployment tumbling to 6.1. Well, well.
As the man said: well, well.

In fact, Iceland seems cocky enough to reject a Chinese businessman's offer to buy a 115 square mile tourist farm in the north-east of the country, citing security concerns. So why the Icelandic Parliament should use the country's obviously strong position to be the first Western country to recognize the Palestinian state "within the 1967 borders" when there was no Palestine and Gaza belonged to Egypt while the West Bank to Jordan, is a mystery. Perhaps, they are just cocking a snook at everyone.

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