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Let's hear it for the Vikings

By Michael J. Smith on Monday March 8, 2010 10:05 AM

And no, I don't mean the football team:

Icelanders reject full repayment to British, Dutch caught in bank collapse

LONDON -- Icelanders this weekend resoundingly rejected a plan to reimburse overseas depositors after the failure of an online Icelandic bank, a rare public referendum on the repayment of a foreign liability that could fuel further concerns over debt problems in Europe.

A whopping 93 percent of Icelanders rebuffed a government push to reimburse Britain and the Netherlands $5.3 billion....

Voters reveled in a carnival atmosphere following the vote, shooting fireworks into the air and raising placards saying "Sorry Darling, No Deal" -- a reference to Britain's Alistair Darling, the finance minister....

Darling conceded on Sunday that it could now take "many, many years" before London would see any reimbursement. But he also seemed to strike a conciliatory note, saying both Britain and the Netherlands are willing to be flexible.

Oh, they're willing to be flexible now, are they? Reminds me of the story about Carlyle -- Margaret Fuller is supposed to have said to him, with what airy grandiosity one can easily imagine, "Mr Carlyle, I have decided to accept the universe." Carlyle responded, "Egad, madam, you'd better!"

It's always been head-for-the-hills time in northwest Europe when the Vikings find themselves seized by a "carnival atmosphere".

I happened to be living in Ireland during one of the intermittent "cod wars" between the Icelanders and the Brits. It would have done your heart good to hear the Irish cheering on the Icelanders -- all those unfortunate misunderstandings with Thorgest et al. quite forgotten.

According to a story I heard several times there -- though I've never been able to confirm it -- there was at least one occasion when an Icelandic gunboat loaded up its guns with potatoes and broadsided an English vessel. Talk about bangers and mash! The characteristic Irish narrative genius brought vividly to the mind's eye an image of the Brit warship and its spiffy officers slathered inches-thick with potato puree, flavored with a soupcon of cordite.

Comments (4)


What about Greece? Are they going to swallow the pill forever? Of course, Iceland's government dismissed the poll as unimportant (what do voters know, anyway!)

Diana Johnstone has an article on "Reader Supported News" (I haven't read it yet), titled "The End of Greece."


It's always been head-for-the-hills time in northwest Europe when the Vikings find themselves seized by a "carnival atmosphere".

You could find yourself in a carnival atmosphere reading lines like this. Hilarious. I'm glad to see they're coming to their senses over there. Perhaps we can encourage them to raid and pillage a few banks and factories In London. Maybe it will catch on this time.

I can easily imagine my multitude of cousins in Northern Ireland cheering on another feisty anti-British nation. By the way, have you seen this http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8531266.stm ?


brit bashing aside

this is precisely what little state players
like latvia need to do

first offer to buy up all the domestic debt
requiring foreign currency payments
put the full faith and means of the whole of latvia behind these solemn obligation
and then after some elaborate time consuming
art carney like
preparatory gestures
like an advisory plebiscite
on it all that paper hooey

of course the germans and swedes would prolly allow russia to re swallow the poor little sardine state
after such a devilish coup

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