Iceland's Leader Slams Gordon Brown Over Crisis
The President of Iceland has launched an extraordinary verbal attack on Gordon Brown on the fringes of the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, the country's longest-serving president, told Sky News that his country would "never forget" its treatment during the financial crisis at the hands of the former British prime minister.
During the financial crisis, following the collapse of Icelandic bank Icesave and Iceland's refusal to refund UK deposits, Britain took the rare step of imposing financial sanctions on the country.
Mr Grimsson told Sky News: "The Gordon Brown government decided, to its eternal shame, to put the Icelandic government on a list of terrorist states and terrorist phenomena. We were there together with al Qaeda and the Taliban on that list.
"We have not forgotten that in Iceland.
"Gordon Brown will be long remembered in my country for centuries to come, long after he has been completely forgotten in Britain."
Mr Brown is also in Davos to speak on panels about development and youth activism.
Mr Grimsson said the estate of the bank had managed to recover enough assets to "pay back to those who have deposits and the British authorities everything which can be reasonably required".
An EFTA court is due on Monday to give a legal verdict as to whether Iceland's actions were appropriate, however Mr Grimsson said this will only be advisory, and that "it will not lead to any financial obligations or transactions of any sort".
The president also signalled his country may soon abandon its plans to join the European Union.
Iceland started formal negotiations towards becoming an EU member in 2009, but this week suspended it for what was expected to be a number of months.
However, when asked whether he could foresee his country joining the EU in his term, which still has three-and-a-half years to run, Mr Grimsson said: "If you want me to take a bet, I would definitely say no."
He added: "It's quite clear both in my country and other parts of northern Europe that there is a growing scepticism about the way the European Union is moving forward.
"In the last three years the eurozone has revealed itself to be a different kind of animal.
"We have decided to take a pause, not to move forward at all in the coming months, and then to revisit the issue sometime later.
"We don't want to drag the process on for long. Later this year we will face the decision of whether we call the discussions off altogether ... or whether we prolong the talks which have now been created.
"There is no strong political force in my country arguing that we need to finish the negotiations quickly because we want to join the European Union."
Coming on the back of David Cameron's announcement of plans for a prospective in-out referendum on Britain's membership, the comments represent a further blow for the EU.
what do you think?
They refused to refund money to the uk - what did they expect keep our money then us bail them out? He's got a nerve they screwed up and run with the money
Tiny little country went broke because of brown and his banker friends. brown put them on a list of terrorists with al qaeda, what an idiot.
t.bulgin, Stop with the it`s all brown`s fault. iceland going broke was there problem not brown. sick of hearing the same record.
He is right. Brown should be on the list of terrorists for the wilful and malicious damage he did to our economy. Deliberately waiting for the lowest gold price possible to sell off our reserves. At the time I rang the Icelandic Embassy to offer my support and disassociate myself from that pathetic excuse of a prime minister.
Its about sticking up for your own country well done gordon brown
Why would Brown deliberately wait to sell some of our gold reserves at the lowest price.Please enlighten me.
What was their response to that phonecall?!
It was foolish that some UK authorities through pure greed invested in doggy unregulated Icelandic banks. The Icelanders themselves wanted to hang some of their ministers.
Steve, Have you forgotten it was a world recession, not made by brown. Sick of hearing the world recession, is all down to brown. iceland still owe this country loads of money.
As with football managers, can we not arrange a transfer for this man to run the UK government, he's got more testicular fortitude and common-sense than all of our lot. Iceland goverment makes a decision - British government waits anothe 4 years before maybe making a decision.
"Gordon Brown will be long remembered in my country for centuries to come, long after he has been completely forgotten in Britain." It's gonna be quite a while before we forget the idiot here Mr Grimmson. We have to live with his stupidity every day as more and more people lose their jobs. thanks brown, you clown.
Cameron said in 2009 all this is down to thatcher
t bulgin please keep up unelected Tory government for the last 2.9 years . unemployment is down too them
Gordon Brown "idiot" I don`t think so Saved the western World from meltdown.
Stephen Was that cameron from down the local socialist workers party branch
I'm sure he(Brown) is/was a dedicated man, but a bit of a silly bigot and and just as he described himself - 'a conviction' politition ie convinced of his own rightness in all things.
happymike, another thumbs up to balance out those idiots (classic tory speak)who dont realise that Brown sacrificed his own career in saving millions from bankruptcy.
Yes in Blaires own words, the most prudent chancellor in the world, well enough said I think!
Trust you are being ironic?
James. He was lieing, just like every other time he opened his mouth
What did he expect after deciding not to pay back money his country owed??. Dozens of British Councils lost millions of pounds after putting their money into Icelandic banks and this in turn led to savage cuts in services provided by the councils. Mr Grimmson has already said that the verdict of the EFTA court "will not lead to any financial obligations or transactions of any sort". No prizes for guessing what that means, They don't intend to pay anyone back. He can get high and mighty when when his country pays back the money they still owe...........
Further to my last, I am no friend of Gordon Brown but this is a bit rich coming the President of a country that still owes money to us................
Iceland the country never lent the money, only private Icelandic banks - why should a country make good on private debts? If Brown had let ours go bust, this country wouldn't be in fiscal schutcke
Gengis, Following the crisis of 2008, the Icelandic government instigated a referendum on whether or not the Icelandic banks should pay back the money they owed to foreign depositors. Not surprisingly, the Icelanders thought of themselves and voted not. Whether or not the banks are private or state owned is irrelevant. This GOVERNMENT action caused many British local councils huge losses and forced them to make cuts in services they might not otherwise have had to make. They deserved to be blacklisted and should remain so until the money is paid back...........
A little further info for you Gengis, On October 7 2008, the bank was taken over by the Icelandic Financial Services Authority (the Government) which refused to pay back foreign deposotirs while guaranteeing all domestic deposits. So in other words, they looked after their own while telling us to take a hike. British depositors were owed some £4 Billion at the time....
Gengis..If the UK banks had been allowed to collapse Millions of UK citizens would have lost everything and foreign investments in UK would have ended. Fullstop. Confidence is everything. Financials and other 'invisibles' account for about half our income. To say that Iceland is not responsible for its banks (even then) is like saying to a country that happens to host Al qaeda....its ok, really.
Chris, and that is exactly why Brown did the things he did, there was no easy decision damed if you do and doubly damed if he had not.Personally I think he made the right choice not to bankrupt millions of savers.
well done Mr brown for standing up for the country
I agree Stephen. Iceland owed depositors in the UK a fortune and had Brown stood idly by they would have quickly moved any assets they had in the UK back to Iceland. All credit to him for keeping us out of the disasterous Euro too
dave have taken your pills not like you too say things like this about Mr brown.
He didnt. He maliciously and intentionally put us all in debt for four generations, on some perverse idiology that it would make us more equal. Should be facing criminal charges for the way he missold our gold reserves.
Unlike some on here who cannot see past there own political leanings I try to take a more balanced view. Credit where credit is due and criticism where I think it is appropriate. It is impossible to have a serious discussion if we all retreat into our own little political cave.
Dave I see your point. But in this case I think Steve V has very rightly flagged up Brown's catastrophic and, to my mind, criminal and deliberate destruction of our finances in his last days in power.
Brian. Preventing the Icelanders pulling their money out of the UK was a plus point as was keeping us out of the euro. Unfortunately they were 2 positives amongst a host of negatives
The basis of our 'working' democracy is that we do support the government in power. May not agree or like everything but get on with things. The deal is that the party in power must act responsibly or at least try to most of the time, not favour a minority. The 'Hunting with dogs' Act was clearly a betrayal of that principle. Politicians must not just be 'smug' smilers thinking I have power now, I am going to use it!
When you have a CROOK like this man (his countrymen called him this) attacking you ,you know you are in the right well done Gordon.
If Cameron had been in charge he would have made a decision on what to do in 2017.