Sigrún Davíðsdóttir's Icelog

The Haarde trial, politicians and accountability (updated)

with 7 comments

Ex-PM Geir Haarde used harsh words to criticise the Court that found him guilty of one charge, but without a punishment. Claiming the verdict was “laughable, he compared Iceland to Ukraine and the trial of Julia Tymochenko now that he had been held victim to this process, which has taken two years.

There are various views in Iceland regarding the trial. But whatever the opinion, Althingi has at least attempted to place the political accountability for the crash. Ex-PM Gordon Brown can be grateful that the British Parliament isn’t doing anything as drastic to investigate who is to blame for the 5% of GDP that the UK bank collapse in October 2008 cost the UK. The same counts for the US and many European countries.

 

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Written by Sigrún Davídsdóttir

April 23rd, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Posted in Iceland

7 Responses to 'The Haarde trial, politicians and accountability (updated)'

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  1. Sigrun makes the real point from an International perspective. The UK and the other nations have failed to even try to bring (or even identify) any politician for the political and regulatory failures. Is it any wonder that voters hold politicians in such low regard? How can we ever learn the lessons if there is no open process to try to identify what those lessons and failings were?

    Tony Shearer

    25 Apr 12 at 7:31 am

  2. The surprising thing is most of the abusers and profiteers are in complete denial. Maybe we haven’t found the right words or right way to bring them back to reality and out of their closed world ?
    Even more surprising, too often convicted crooks or stupid leaders are reelected.
    Eva Joly in France had to do a “Sarko tour” a propaganda event to illustrate the probable corruption of France ruling party; many said that wasn’t cricket and was below the belt. Result 2,15 percent of votes in last presidential elections.

    Goupil

    25 Apr 12 at 8:47 am

  3. Tony Shearer, this is why I admire the Icelandic people as it is they and only they, who have attempted to bring Justice and hold Politicians and Bankers accountable.
    Politicians are elected and are accountable to the people.
    Bankers are employees and are accountable to their clients and they should also be accountable to the Government and not act outside the law.

    If the people do not hold the incompetent, wreckless and greedy to account then it is the hard-working people who will pay and the nations which will default.
    Iceland is the only country to have shown an example of democracy to the world.
    It is high time the world stood up and took note as if things are ever to change, this is surely the example to follow.
    Iceland is to be applauded.

    Rachael Williams

    25 Apr 12 at 12:53 pm

  4. Once again, well said Sigrun. And well said Tony and the other commentators above – all spot on (including the timely reference to Eva Joly, a candidate of uncompromising integrity who at least got my vote).

    The response in the UK has been, and continues to be, abysmal. There has been no public enquiry and no serious attempt to understand exactly what happened and why, or to identify and correct the underlying systemic causes of the financial crisis. The victims have mostly been paid off (at considerable cost to the public purse), thus effectively minimising protest, and it seems that no-one – neither the politicians who actively promoted and instigated such disastrous deregulation over the last 30 years, nor the so-called regulators on whose watch the multiple crashes happened, nor the bankers themselves – will be held to account, leaving those who continue to benefit from the status quo to quietly continue business as usual – until it all goes belly-up again.

    Hector Sants, the out-going chief executive of the UK Financial Services Authority, is also in complete denial: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/9224451/FSA-chief-Hector-Sants-blames-financial-sector-for-global-crisis.html

    “How many times can a man turn his head and pretend that he just doesn’t see?” The answer might well be “blowin’ in the wind”, but few seem willing to listen.

    anrigaut

    25 Apr 12 at 8:13 pm

  5. The fact is Iceland had criminal activity that very nearly destroyed it and basically nobody has been held accountable. A show trial with no reason is just as bad as persecuting nobody.

    So there is nothing to admire about Iceland’s response because there wasn’t any action taken.

    Peter Krakoq

    25 Apr 12 at 10:32 pm

  6. Goupil did say: “The surprising thing is most of the abusers and profiteers are in complete denial. Maybe we haven’t found the right words or right way to bring them back to reality and out of their closed world ?”

    Yes.
    That would be called ‘prison’.
    It has a wonderful ability to veer the mind away from denial.

    Gummi

    9 May 12 at 9:02 pm

  7. Ms Williams, waxing optimistic: “This is why I admire the Icelandic people as it is they and only they, who have attempted to bring Justice and hold Politicians and Bankers accountable.”

    I was saying the same thing to all the un-indicted Icelandic embezzler/bankers/billionaire enablers at the Ibiza Hilton just the other day!! Olafur Ragnar laughed so hard he spilled his drink and Bjorgolfur fainted in the jacuzzi.

    All, however, accept your congratulations and your apologies. “This is why we are a Superior Race,” said Olafur.

    Gummi

    9 May 12 at 9:13 pm

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