Northern Europe



Iceland PM resigns after Protests over Panama Papers Revelations - the Guardian: LINK ¤ the GUARDIAN

 

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  • "Iceland’s embattled prime minister, Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, has become the first major casualty of the Panama Papers"

 

 

 

 

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  • "tendering his resignation amid a mounting political crisis over his family’s offshore investments"

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "a mass protest in Reykjavik turned to celebration as Icelanders vented their anger at the outgoing prime minister"

 

 

 

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  • "following revelations that he had once owned - and his wife still owns"

 

 

 

 

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  • "a secret offshore investment company with multimillion-pound claims on Iceland’s failed banks"

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "the leaked documents from the Mossack Fonseca law firm in Panama reveal Gunnlaugsson and his wife, Anna Sigurlaug Palsdottir, bought a British Virgin Islands-based offshore company, Wintris Inc, in December 2007"

 

 

 

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  • "he failed, however, to declare an interest in the company either then or when he became prime minister in 2013"

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "the name of finance minister Benediktsson also appeared in the leaked documents in connection with a Seychelles-based company of which he once owned a third"

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "political opponents and many ordinary Icelanders, more than 10,000 of whom staged a first mass protest outside parliament on Monday"

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "are outraged"

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "Iceland was brought almost to its knees in the financial crisis of 2008 by the recklessness of a small group of bankers and businessmen - several of whom are now in jail"

 

 

 

 

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  • "who used offshore companies to conceal their dealings in high-risk financial products"

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "Iceland introduced strict capital controls on the amount of money that could be taken out of the country"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "“people just feel humiliated and very, very angry,” said Birgitta Jonsdottir of the Pirate party"

 

 

 

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  • "which opinion polls currently estimate is the country’s largest with the support of between 35% and 42% of the electorate"

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "after what happened to this country in 2008 we needed honesty, transparency and integrity from our leaders"

 

 

 

 

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  • "none of these things have been evident in this whole story"

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "Arni Pall Arnason, leader of the Social Democratic Alliance, said Gunlaugsson’s position was simply no longer tenable"

 

 

 

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  • "it’s obvious that we cannot tolerate a leadership that is linked to offshore holdings"

 

 

 

 

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  • "Iceland cannot be the only western European democratic country with a political leadership in this position"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nordic Welfare Model
- Wikipedia EN: LINK ¤ NORDIC WELFARE MODEL

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  • "the Nordic model or Nordic social democracy"

 

 

 

 

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  • "refers to the economic and social models"

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "of the Nordic countries Denmark, Finland, Norway, Iceland, Greenland, Faroe Islands and Sweden"

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "which involves the combination of a market economy"

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "with a welfare state"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "although there are significant differences among the Nordic countries, they all share some common traits"

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "these include support for a "universalist" welfare state"

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "which is aimed specifically at enhancing individual autonomy, promoting social mobility"

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "and ensuring the universal provision of basic human rights"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "promoting gender equality"

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "egalitarian and extensive benefit levels"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "the large magnitude of income redistribution, and liberal use of expansionary fiscal policy"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "the Nordic model is described as a system of capitalism combined with a large public sector"

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "roughly 30% of the work force"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "a combination of extensive public provision of welfare and a culture of individualism"

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "with low levels of inequality"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "generous welfare states and reduced concentration of top incomes"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "in contrast to the more "cut-throat" capitalism of the United States, which has high levels of inequality and a larger concentration of top incomes"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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SWEDEN - Wikipedia EN: LINK ¤ SWEDEN


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Capital: Stockholm
| Population: 9.8 million



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Sweden first major European Country to recognize State of Palestine - Reuters: LINK ¤ REUTERS

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  • "Sweden's new center-left Government will recognize the state of Palestine"

 

 

 

 

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  • "in a move that will make it the first major European country to take the step"

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven: "the conflict between Israel and Palestine"

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "can only be solved with a two-state solution"

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "negotiated in accordance with international law"

 

 

 

 

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  • "a two-state solution requires mutual recognition and a will to peaceful co-existence"

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "Sweden will therefore recognize the state of Palestine"

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "with its reputation as an honest broker in international affairs and with an influential voice in EU foreign policy"

 

 

 

 

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  • "the decision may well make other countries sit up and pay attention"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NORWAY - Wikipedia EN: LINK ¤ NORWAY


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Capital: Oslo
| Population: 5.2 million



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Barack Obama - US cable - 2009: LINK ¤ 09OSLO739

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  • "Mr. President, your visit to Oslo"

 

 

 

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  • "to accept the Nobel Peace Prize is of great significance to the Norwegians"

 

 

 

 

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  • "the Nobel Peace Prize shines an exclusive spotlight for a few moments each year on this country of mountains and fjords"

 

 

 

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  • "awarding you the Prize is the Norwegian Nobel Committee's way of welcoming your presence on the world stage"

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials regularly tell that your speeches in Cairo"

 

 

 

 

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  • "at the United Nations Security Council's Special Session on Disarmament, and your UNGA speech"

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "were music to their ears"

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "to achieve the goals that Norway has historically sought to achieve"

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "they want to help you in your ambitious global agenda"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "while Norwegians pride themselves on their climate change policy"

 

 

 

 

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  • "and maintain one of the cleanest oil and gas production systems in the world"

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "they understand the paradox their efforts represent, given that Norway's wealth comes mostly from oil and gas"

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "energy is at the heart of the US - Norway relationship"

 

 

 

 

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  • with nearly 70% of Norway's total exports to the US coming from crude oil and petroleum products"

 

 

 

 

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  • "and 60% of US direct investment in Norway in the offshore petroleum sector"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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DENMARK - Wikipedia EN: LINK ¤ DENMARK


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Capital: Copenhagen
| Population: 5.7 million





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ICELAND - Wikipedia EN: LINK ¤ ICELAND


- Capital: Reykjavík | Population: 0.3 million


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Björk on Iceland: we don't go to Church, we go into the Nature - the Guardian: LINK ¤ the GUARDIAN

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  • "Iceland’s most celebrated musician is feeling particularly impassioned about her homeland:"

 

 

 

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  • "she had just held a press conference to raise awareness of the threat to the Icelandic highlands"

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "an area of extraordinary beauty and ecological diversity"

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "that may be irreparably damaged by plans to lay a subsea power cable to the UK, accompanied by above-ground power stations and infrastructure"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "Icelandic music could be said to express sonically both the isolation of their Icelandic location"

 

 

 

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  • "and to induce a feeling of hermetic isolation in the listener through the climactic and melodic intensity of their sound"

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "when trying to understand the music and literature of Iceland, it is important to understand the national psychology: the psyche of Iceland"

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "is to be recognised as on a par with anything abroad"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "Björk and her music was the first time we did something first, that people elsewhere were copying us"

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "Nobel prize-winning poet Halldór Laxness once wrote: "we have many gods and obey them all, and they us""

 

 

 

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  • "the god of the sea and the god of the land, the god of thunder and the god of poetry"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Björk: "the first money I got, I used to buy a tent. It was my ideal freedom"

 

 

 

 

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  • "and I don’t think I’m alone in that ideal"

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "there’s a sacredness that comes with this landscape"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Electricity in Iceland - Wikipedia EN: LINK ¤ ICELAND ELECTRICITY

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  • "Iceland's electricity is produced almost entirely from renewable energy sources: hydroelectric (70%) and geothermal (30%)"

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "Iceland’s consumption of electricity is seven times higher than EU 15 average"

 

 

 

 

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  • "the majority of the electricity is sold to industrial users, mainly aluminium smelters"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "the aluminum industry in Iceland used 71% of produced electricity"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Alcoa pays no Company Tax in Iceland - IcelandReview: LINK ¤ ICELAND REVIEW

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  • "last year, Alcoa in Iceland, the parent company of the biggest aluminum smelter in East Iceland"

 

 

 

 

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  • "paid its parent company in Luxemburg close to ISK 3.5 billion (US$ 26.5 million) in interest"

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "a total of ISK 57 billion has been paid out of the operation here to Luxemburg in the form of interest payments"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "thus, Alcoa in Iceland has never reported a profit and never paid taxes of any profit"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "financial loss, though, is not what the parent company Alcoa in the US sees"

 

 

 

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  • "in the annual report, the operation in Iceland is praised for great and even record profit compared to more than 20 other Alcoa aluminum smelters"

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "the report reads: “in Iceland affordable energy and technical advancements"

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "have helped our smelter operations to be profit leaders among our global primary businesses"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • former Director of Icelandic Internal Revenue Þorláksson: "of course it’s a scandal to keep it this way"

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "of course we should put our fist on the table and say: "this must be changed""

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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the Heart of Iceland: LINK ¤ HEART of ICELAND

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  • "the Icelandic Highlands form one of the largest territories in Europe, south of the Arctic Circle, which has never been inhabited or cultivated"

 

 

 

 

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  • "the area is renowned for its unparalleled geology and geomorphology; pristine oases in the midst of an exceptionally contrasting landscape that is formed by a unique combination of fire and ice"

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "therefore, the Icelandic Highlands are considered one of the last great wildernesses in Europe"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "over the last few decades, the Highlands have been under siege, threatened by increasing pressure to build power plants, built-up roads, and power lines"

 

 

 

 

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  • "there are proposals to make a built-up road across Kjölur plateau along with high-voltage power lines"

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "and power companies are preparing to build up to fifteen power plants in the Highlands"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "in a poll in 2015, the majority of respondents - over 60% - said they favored a national park in the Highlands"

 

 

 

 

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  • "the proposed projects would thus be at odds with the will of the nation"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "in addition, more than 80% of foreign tourists say that the Icelandic nature"

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "is their main reason for visiting Iceland"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "please sign this petition, that the Highlands - the heart of Iceland - should be spared the proposed constructions"

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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US Security - US cable - 2006: LINK ¤ 06REYKJAVIK107

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  • "when the US announced the realignment of its force presence at Naval Air Station Keflavik (NASKEF)"

 

 

 

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  • "the Icelandic government has made its unhappiness with the decision plain"

 

 

 

 

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  • "governing Independence (IP) and Progressive (PP) Party luminaries seemed genuinely shocked"

 

 

 

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  • "that the US would take this step without negotiations"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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IceSave - US cable - 2008: LINK ¤ 08REYKJAVIK246

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  • "Ministry for Foreign Affairs External Trade Director Martin Eyjolfsson bleakly described"

 

 

 

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  • "the difficult negotiations with the British delegation"

 

 

 

 

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  • "over the obligation and repayment connected with the Icelandic IceSave accounts in the UK"

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "the Brits had tossed out the figure of 13.5 percent interest, but the Icelanders offered 6 percent"

 

 

 

 

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  • "the Icelandic public needs time to absorb the enormity of the crisis"

 

 

 

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  • "no one really fathoms yet that the government is going to go from ten percent of GDP as debt"

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "to 140 percent"

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • "each Icelandic household would have to pay at least 500 USD every month"

 

 

 

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  • "a fifth of their household income - for the next ten years just to service the interest of a loan"

 

 

 

 

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  • "to pay off the IceSave accounts"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Energy Tax - US cable - 2009: LINK ¤ 09REYKJAVIK202

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  • "recent actions by the Government of Iceland, including a proposal to introduce a significant energy tax"

 

 

 

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  • "have raised concerns about the current environment for foreign (US) investors"

 

 

 

 

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  • "implementing significant tax increases ex-post-facto"

 

 

 

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  • "could disadvantage American companies currently operating in Iceland"

 

 

 

 

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  • "executives from the two American-owned aluminum smelters, Alcoa and Century Aluminum"

 

 

 

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  • "expressed concern that such action could significantly reduce the companies' profitability"

 

 

 

 

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comment US:

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  • "several aluminum representatives thanked the US embassy for getting them a seat at the table"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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International Monetary Fund - US cable - 2009: LINK ¤ 09REYKJAVIK203

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  • "opposition leader Benediktsson was eager to discuss a letter that he had sent to the US National Security Council (NSC) requesting a meeting with a senior White House official"

 

 

 

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  • "expressing outrage with how the IMF was used as a tool against Iceland in the Icesave dispute"

 

 

 

 

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  • "the Icesave matter was, originally, an issue that involved only the governments"

 

 

 

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  • "of Iceland, Great Britain and the Netherlands"

 

 

 

 

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  • "the dispute among the three countries centered on whether the Icelandic government must serve"

 

 

 

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  • "as guarantor for British and Dutch depositors, that lost money when the Icelandic banking system collapsed"

 

 

 

 

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  • "there was no EU legislation that obligated Iceland to act as such a guarantor and legal precedents on the topic were murky at best"

 

 

 

 

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  • "Great Britain and the Netherlands understood that they were not operating from positions of strength"

 

 

 

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  • "and brought the IMF into the equation to force Iceland's hand"

 

 

 

 

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  • "the threat of withholding IMF loans until the Icesave dispute was resolved"

 

 

 

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  • "was used to force the Government of Iceland to capitulate"

 

 

 

 

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  • "it was a great misuse of the IMF and completely unfair to Iceland"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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das Wunder von Island 1 - der Standard: LINK ¤ der STANDARD

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  • "wichtigster Auslöser für den Kollaps in Island 2008 war die von den Banken über Jahre hinweg aggressiv betriebene internationale Expansion mit Hilfe von gewagten Krediten"

 

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  • "im Gefolge der Lehman-Pleite im Herbst 2008 krachten auch die drei größten Banken des Landes"

 

 

 

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  • "Kaupthing, Glitnir und Landsbanki hatten beim Zusammenbruch"

 

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  • "Schulden in Höhe des Zehnfachen des isländischen Bruttoinlandsprodukts angehäuft"

 

 

 

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  • "nur durch Notverstaatlichung konnten Islands Banken vor dem endgültigen Kollaps gerettet werden. Heute schreiben sie unter neuen Namen wieder schwarze Zahlen"

 

 

 

 

 

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das Wunder von Island 2 - der Standard: LINK ¤ der STANDARD

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  • "das Modell des nordischen Wohlfahrtsstaates hat man im Grunde nicht infrage gestellt"

 

 

 

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  • "zur Erholung des Landes haben laut Wirtschaftsminister Steingrímur Sigfusson mehrere Faktoren beigetragen"

 

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  • "die Kontrolle des internationalen Kapitalverkehrs und der Wertverlust der Krone"

 

 

 

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  • "der zu einem deutlichen Rückgang der Importe führte, wodurch sich das außenwirtschaftliche Defizit rasch verringerte"

 

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  • "auch heute noch sind strenge Devisenregeln in Kraft"

 

 

 

 

 

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der Bürgermeister Reykjaviks Jón Gnarr - der Standard: LINK ¤ der STANDARD

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  • "die Krise war in Island nicht so verheerend wie in anderen Ländern. Es gibt hier keine geschlossenen Geschäfte und keine Massenarbeitslosigkeit"

 

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  • "vielleicht liegt das daran, dass Island so klein ist und wir bessere Wege gefunden haben, mit der Krise umzugehen als der Rest Europas"

 

 

 

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der Standard: "haben sich die Einstellungen der Menschen verändert ?"


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  • "die Krise hat uns vorsichtiger und demütiger gemacht"

 

 

 

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  • "vor zehn Jahren waren die Möglichkeiten, auf die sich alle stürzten, im Bankensektor. Wir konzentrieren uns jetzt auf unsere eigenen Belange. Dieses Experiment mit der weiten Welt ist ja irgendwie gescheitert"

 

 

 

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  • "das Land ist interessanter geworden. Seit der Krise gibt es besondere Aufmerksamkeit für lokale Fragen"

 

 

 

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  • "auf Fragen der Verteilungsgerechtigkeit reagieren die Menschen viel sensibler"

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Island gibt sich eine neue Verfassung
- der Standard: LINK ¤ der STANDARD

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  • "Basisdemokratie im 21. Jahrhundert: die Debatte über eine Reform des Grundgesetzes läuft auch im Internet"

 

 

 

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  • "besonderes Gewicht legt der Verfassungsentwurf auf die Rohstoffvorkommen Islands"

 

 

 

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  • "die zum Eigentum aller Staatsbürger erklärt werden, deren Nutzung allen zugutekommen soll"

 

 

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  • "sie sind deshalb unverkäuflich, es können lediglich zeitlich beschränkte Lizenzen zum Abbau vergeben werden"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NORTHERN EUROPE - Wikipedia EN: LINK ¤ NORTHERN EUROPE

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  • "Northern Europe is the northern part or region of Europe"

 

 

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  • "geographically, northern Europe is usually taken to consist of Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland"

 

 

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Northern Europe
- Map:
LINK ¤ WIKIMEDIA

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northern europe - 1402NE
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