From Volume 36, Issue 40 of EIR Online, Published Oct. 16, 2009

Global Economic News

Iceland's Prime Minister Slams IMF and the Anglo-Dutch

Oct. 6 (EIRNS)—Icelandic Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir told the Financial Times that it was "not acceptable" for the International Monetary fund to insist that Iceland agree to the demands of the British and Dutch governments, for the Icelandic government to take responsibility for reimbursing British and Dutch depositors who lost their money when the Icelandic banks collapsed. In written answers to Financial Times questions, she also slammed Britain for using anti-terror laws to freeze assets of the Icelandic banks. She said that British and Dutch authorities "cannot wash their hands" of regulatory responsibility for the failures of the Icelandic banks that operated in their countries.

She attacked British Prime Minister Gordon Brown for demanding that Reykjavik take responsibility for the actions of the banks. She said that while Brown says publicly that "it's not the general public that should suffer from the wrongdoings of the banks ... obviously he does not count the Icelandic public in that." She put the blame on "uncontrolled capitalism and greed and the megalomania ... and cross ownership of a few players."

She added that Iceland was thrown "into an abyss of turbo-capitalism and mounting inequalities which proved fatal especially for a small nation." She vowed to return Iceland to the path of "equality and fairness."

Turkey: IMF Proposal Not 'Realistic'

Oct. 5 (EIRNS)—It seems the International Monetary Fund needs Turkey more than Turkey needs the IMF. Even at the IMF annual conference now taking place in Istanbul, Turkey continues to resist pressure to come to a new stand-by agreement. Turkish Economics Minister Ali Babacan said that Turkey has not accepted the IMF proposal, because it did not find it "realistic." He said it could be better for the country to implement its own policy, without the IMF, than accede to the Fund's demands.

"We have been continuing on our way without a standby deal since May 2008," he said. "Some are asking why this is the case. The answer is simple: We do not believe the IMF's offered solution will benefit Turkey's economy. And that is why we have announced our own economic program. The government has told the IMF that the future relationship—including a possible stand-by deal—should be in accordance with Turkey's medium-term plan." He said that the government's plan does not need IMF financing.

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