Iceland has always been a fascinating place to me, whether it be its lunar landscape, explosive volcanoes, mystic language, or healing geothermal spas (not to mention wondering why Iceland is green and Greenland icy).
These days the focus on Iceland has shifted from being the first national casualty of the 2008 financial meltdown to how the nation (as The Guardian’s Aditya Chakrabortty puts it) has managed to “minimise the misery of financial collapse by ignoring economic orthodoxy”.
As big bank bailouts were happening across the globe, Iceland decided to let its banks go under. At the time, it must’ve seemed like a cold and cruel thing to do, but Iceland’s economy is doing far better than what its critics expected. The worst of its recession is now over. Although not in total recovery, things are definitely looking up for this tiny island nation.
Feel free to take a look at how Ireland and Greece dealt with their own economic crisis for comparison. Perhaps both countries now wish they had done the same. Iceland was kind to itself and tough on its creditors, whereas elsewhere the people were forced to (and continue to) shoulder the burden of their government’s mistakes.
Hence, I suppose it’s a no brainer that when asked to join the EU, Icelanders are responding with a firm nei. Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan couldn’t have explained it better: