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Icelandic coalition collapses amid protests across Europe - International Herald Tribune

BERLIN: Iceland's coalition collapsed Monday, the latest fallout from a global financial crisis that has sparked angry demonstrations across Europe.

Prime Minister Geir Haarde said he was unwilling to meet the demands of his coalition partners, the Social Democratic Alliance Party, which insisted on getting the post of prime minister to keep the coalition intact, The Associated Press reported from Reykjavik, the capital.

Last week, Haarde called elections for May, bringing forward a vote originally scheduled for 2011 after weeks of protests by Icelanders upset about soaring unemployment and rising prices. But Haarde said he would not lead his Independence Party into the new elections because he needed treatment for cancer.

Iceland has been in crisis since the collapse of its banks because of massive debt, with its currency, the krona, plummeting. The country's commerce minister, Bjorgvin Sigurdsson, quit Sunday, citing the pressures of the economic collapse, The AP reported.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 27th, 2009 at 04:22:41 PM EST
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World Agenda: is this the most hated man in Iceland? - Times Online

To the clamour of spoons on saucepans, the Icelandic Government has fallen apart.

The thousands of protesters - led by poets and dissident economists - have claimed their first blood, the first political casualty of the global credit crisis, and they were naturally bubbling with revolutionary zeal today.

The next target they say is the most polarising figure in Icelandic society, the bugbear of the Left and the liberals: David Oddsson, chairman of the central bank.

The ambition to lever him out of office is understandable. Oddsson had received enough signals that something was going wrong in Iceland, that the financial sector, the bloated banks, were getting out of control.

[Murdoch Alert]
by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 27th, 2009 at 04:25:49 PM EST
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there's a guy on air (radio) describing the demonstration just now: he says the demonstrators throwed cheese at the police!
by Xavier in Paris on Tue Jan 27th, 2009 at 05:32:12 PM EST
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