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ICELANDIC TIMES – ISSUE 33

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It’s a sad testimony of today’s society that the political and banking elite seem to feel that they alone know what is best for the world, leaving the general public to submissively follow their dictates, even if that leads to disastrous decisions and a dramatic decline in living standards.
When one man stood up for what was right for his country and let the people decide on a major issue, he unleashed a torrent of criticism from that international elite and the media they control. However, he was proven both ethically and legally correct in the court case that ensued.
That man was the President of Iceland, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson and the event was the collapse of one of its private banks in the Icesave debacle in 2008. Instead of bowing to the international financial powers that brought down Greece, for example, the President of Iceland led the defence of his country, twice vetoing a decision by the politicians to cave in to the pressure and putting the issue to a referendum in which the country supported him and democracy won.
It was ironic that the country with the world’s longest running parliament should be the one to stand up for democracy to bring power back to the people.
Building on his belief that the people had an important part to plan in deciding the world’s future, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson announced the founding of Arctic Circle in Spring 2013.
Icelandic Times has an in-depth interview and review of the man who served his country as President for 20 years and who continues to further the cause of both his country and democracy with the Arctic Circle Assembly and Forums, paving the way for a new model
of international collaboration while also expanding the role of the Presidency in new ways.