Thursday, June 10, 2010

Iceland's Black Report

Perhaps the most hopeful thing I've read since the economic meltdown of the world started a couple of years ago...

Banksters, Corrupt Politicians Face Prosecution - in Iceland

by: Sam Knight, t r u t h o u t | Report

(Image: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: maty0609, ramenlover)

Calls for constitutional reform follow investigation into financial collapse; bankers, former government ministers face possibility of jail time.

Last month, the publication of an Icelandic Parliamentary report commissioned "to investigate and analyze the processes leading to the collapse of the three main banks in Iceland" shook the old guard on the island, leaving many of the country's rich and powerful facing the possibility of incarceration.

The long anticipated Black Report, as it is known, is seen by many Icelanders as crucial step toward recovering from its calamitous financial collapse of October 2008. The harsh critique of the old regime has presented Icelanders with an opportunity for reform not seen since the collapse itself and the Kitchenware Revolution of January 2009 that followed it, when thousands of angry demonstrators banging on pots and pans forced the government responsible for Iceland's boom and bust to resign.

"With this report, many windows that were closed have now been opened again," explained Left-Green Member of Parliament (MP) Ögmundur Jónasson.

Icelanders, he added, had been waiting for the report since December 2008, when the Special Investigative Commission (SIC) was first formed. The country has had to endure numerous painstaking delays, the last of which was intended to give those accused of criminal activity time to prepare their defense.

And while the delays may have been frustrating to a public desperate for answers, the end result - all 2,400 pages of it - was unexpectedly satisfying.

"Everyone was pleasantly surprised," said Haukur Magnússon, editor of The Reykjavik Grapevine, an English language magazine based out of Iceland's capital. "First, because no one believed it would come out. And secondly, no one expected it be well done. But they did a top notch job."

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