When should a politician resign?

When should a politician resign? What is the bar for a politician to resign from Ministerial or public office? Firstly the trend in regard to leaders and major referendums is the most clear cut. Alex Salmond lost the Scottish Independence Referendum, he resigned as First Minister. David Cameron lost the EU Referendum, he resigned as Prime Minister. Matteo Renzi lost his referendum on  constitutional reform and he resigned as Italian PM. We haven’t had a referendum specific to the north …

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Iceland: “but people ask why can’t I pay my mortgage? Why is my salary not going up?”

Whilst everyone else is focused on the tribulations of Greece, I would heartily recommend that if you don’t read anything else today, read this Reykjavik Letter (€) from Peter Geoghegan in today’s Irish Times: visions of Iceland as a Nordic Nirvana – burnt bondholders, jailed bankers, a crowd-sourced constitution – often clash with reality here. The Icelandic economy has recovered since the kreppa, the 2008 banking meltdown. But the cost of living remains painfully high, even if the country is far more …

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Iceland election result: two parties blamed for economic meltdown returned to power

Back to Iceland to look at the election result. The BBC report that: Centre-right opposition parties in Iceland are set for a return to power with nearly all votes counted after Saturday’s parliamentary election. The Independence party has 26% and the Progressive party 24%, putting them on track to win nearly 40 of the 63 seats. The ruling Social Democrats are trailing with around 13%. It is a dramatic comeback for the parties widely blamed for Iceland’s economic meltdown in …

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Icelandic dinosaurs, elections and the fate of their crowd-sourced constitution … and a link to equal marriage

Slugger should take a look at Iceland more often. An article in yesterday’s Guardian described intriguing democratic and constitutional processes. About a third of the North Atlantic island’s population live in the capital city of Reykjavík, another third live in the greater Reykjavík area. Apparently two thirds of the island’s population are on Facebook: Iceland can be a petri dish for democratic ideas, according to the mayor [Jón Gnarr who formed the Best party] … “Reykjavík and Iceland are perfect …

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Enforcing moral hazard the Icelandic way (though Ireland may have better longer term prospects)…

There’s a good piece in the San Fran Chronicle which compares Iceland’s handling of the debt crisis favourably with the US’s. It doesn’t say it, but you might also compare it unfavourably with the Eurozone’s mishandling of its crisis too. Iceland’s special prosecutor has said it may indict as many as 90 people, while more than 200, including the former chief executives at the three biggest banks, face criminal charges. Larus Welding, the former CEO of Glitnir Bank hf, once …

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Volcanic ash cloud: “We can’t rule out disruption”

Despite initial confidence that there would be little or no disruption caused by the ash cloud from the ‘significant eruption’ of the Iceland’s Grímsvötn volcano, aviation authorities in the UK and in Ireland seem to be becoming less certain that will be the case.  Video from Russia Today on YouTube. From the Irish Times report The IAA said that while it did not expect any flight disruptions within the next 48 hours the picture could change later in the week. “We don’t …

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Letters from Iceland

While Ireland’s mounting debt mountain continues to cause chaos in the Eurozone, I’ve spent the past week in the one country that embraced default back in October 2008: Iceland. Not that Iceland really had much choice about defaulting; the debts of its three privatised banks, Landsbanki, Kaupthing and Glitnir, were almost ten times GDP when the kreppa (or crisis) struck. The big issue in Iceland at the moment should be next week’s referendum on Icesave. The high-interest internet arm of …

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“and a new polar bear for the city zoo…”

In their recent local government elections the citizens of Iceland, or at least the capital Reykjavik, have demonstrated the ultimate result of an anti-politics crusade.  From the BBC report The Best Party, founded by comedian Jon Gnarr, secured 34.7% of the vote, ahead of the Independence Party’s 33.6%. Its campaign video featured candidates singing to the tune of Tina Turner’s “Simply The Best”. Key pledges included “sustainable transparency”, free towels at all swimming pools and a new polar bear for …

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The ash is back

No-fly zones have been re-imposed over parts of the UK, including Northern Ireland, and some Irish airports are also affected.  The Met Office will be updated its observations of the volcanic ash cloud on a regular basis. Adds The Guardian has more. Including this footage of the culprit, the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, erupting. Pete Baker

‘No fly zone’ over Ireland tomorrow

RTÉ reports that the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) has warned Irish-based airlines that a ‘no fly zone’ may have to be imposed over Ireland tomorrow because of an ash cloud drifting down from Iceland.  From the IAA statement The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) has informed Irish-based airlines that it is concerned that Irish Airports may be impacted by the drift south of the volcanic ash cloud caused by the north easterly winds. Current information from the Volcanic Ash Advice Centre …

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