Icelandic citizens: are we scapegoats?

goatIn these frantic and harsh days of the ongoing financial crisis, Icelanders are disturbed by the reactions towards their nation as a whole.

Ordinary people, not involved in politics or financial sector, are being addressed by citizens of countries all over the world as thieves, liars and other unfriendly terms (as can be seen in many comments attached to articles on this very website).

Most of these, however, seem not to make a difference between those who caused the situation and regular citizens, who have no share in what is happening around at the moment.

“It is of course very sad that other people are affected as well, British, Dutch, Finnish, etc. Glitnir and Landsbankinn were privately owned banks at the moment of their nationalization,” commented one reader of IceNews.

“Iceland has been getting a bad reputation in the news, and I think is undeserved. There are certain individuals that caused this financial plague, not regular Icelanders,” he added. “I too (like most people caught up in this) am just an ordinary guy trying to provide for my family with real possibility of being made redundant soon. I am not greedy or an investor, I am simply trying to do what is right for my family.”

“We as depositors were not part of the investment making process and were just putting money aside for ourselves in case of a rainy day. If I was an investor I would have to accept the risks (sometimes you win sometimes you lose) however I am not,” another Icelander commented.

“The Icelandic authorities have legal, financial & moral obligations to fulfill – no-one says it is easy but it is their choice how they respond – the eyes of the world are watching.”

The Icelandic PM has repeatedly emphasised on the fact that this current situation is not a national bankruptcy, and that the banks were taken over.

The Icelandic government also stated that it is trying to maintain normal banking operations in Iceland, not because it is prejudiced against foreign investors, but because Iceland needs a functioning banking system. If the Icelandic banks were to shut down entirely, so too would every business in the country – and then, they argue, Iceland’s debts would never be repaid.

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