Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Kreppa Claims the Icelandic Government

I feel a little bad about posting this directly after all the Jól stuff, but who knows when I'll post it if I don't do it now.

As you may know, I am living in Iceland during a very exciting time. The financial crisis hit Iceland in October, one month after my arrival as a result of it's inability to handle its recent prosperity. In a sense, Iceland became too big for its britches. As bad as this may sound, the other grantees and I were less than upset by the situation, as it doubled the amount of krona we received every month, making our lives much more comfortable.

The same cannot be said for many Icelanders. More and more people are losing their jobs and homes, while others are considering emigrating, not knowing what the future will hold. Before the new year, Icelanders held weekly protests outside of the house of parliament in Reykjavik demanding that their government take responsibility for the mistakes that they had made. When the government returned to work in the mid January, the protests became a daily occurrence, culminating in a protest complete with a blazing bonfire and clouds of tear gas on Tuesday January 20. A day which will be remembered by all of you as the day we inaugurated our new president. I am just now realizing how incredible it is that I can say that I stopped watching the inauguration of President Obama to go downtown to join protesting Icelanders that would eventually succeed in overthrowing their government. I did return home, however, before the night got to out of control (unfortunately).

Then on Friday January 23, the Icelandic government called it quits, leaving everyone to wonder what will happen now...

Economics is not my forte. However, this Wikipedia explanation will give you all the information you could want, and more, concerning the Icelandic economic crisis, or the kreppa, as it is referred to here.

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