An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Global Economic Tipping Point? – Iceland riots, Latvia and Bulgarian protests

Iceland was rated as the best country to live as per UN living index. That was Two years ago. Last week in an unprecendented riot, the crowd threw stones at the police and the Parliament (Althing). The crowd wanted the Prime Minister Geir Haarde to resign, the parliament dissolved, the constitution replaced with a new one, and investigations of politicians from the current administration.

A complete rehaul and nothing short of that would do for the people.

Here is one of the most chilling anecdotes illustrating the situation in Iceland:[1]

On Friday morning, human rights campaigner and protest organiser Hordur Torfason told a chilling anecdote to illustrate the desperation many Icelanders are feeling. He had received a phone call from a man who said that four generations of his family had lost everything. “He wanted me to help them build a gallows in front of the parliament building,” says Torfason. “I asked him if this was to have some symbolic significance. ‘No,’ came the answer. ‘A member of my family wants to hang himself in public.'” “I said I would help them but not in this way,” says Torfason. “But he killed himself two days ago.”

Such is the desperation! But it is not starving nor will the people die of cold. It is a country rich in resources – fish, geothermal energy and natural gas. Hopefully, all will not be sold for cheap to the outsiders.

Also read:  Be prepared to welcome 400 million refugees by 2015

Iceland is not alone! Bulgaria saw its worst riots since 1997, when the people brought down a Socialist Government. Latvia too has people rage building up as its GDP is expected to shrink, salaries cut and unemployment to be rising.[3]

Last week, in a country where demonstrators usually just sing and then go home, 10,000 people besieged parliament.”

Robert Wade, a British economist thinks that the world is at a tipping point, and Ukraine and Russia could be next. Wonder which other countries are we going to see beyond the Europe?[2]

No wonder Obama is so frantic right now!

Reference Links:

1. Meltdown: Iceland on the brink
2. Riots in Reykjavik: Next they’ll be slapping up guillotines and shouting ‘Off with his head!’
3. World Agenda: riots in Iceland, Latvia and Bulgaria are a sign of things to come

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