Iceland is a clear case of a country that was able to take matters in its own hands and avoid an ongoing recession. Unlike Greece which is in a continuous state of crisis, Iceland was able to rebound because it has maintained it independence just by staying out of the European Union.
In a recent interview on Politico.eu the Icelandic primeminister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson said: “I am pretty sure our recovery couldn’t have happened if we had been part of the EU”. Gunnlaugson believes that his country could have become bankrupt if all the debt was in the euro currency and if they had followed the examples of Ireland and Greece which opted to take on the bad debts of the banking sector.
At this moment in time,Iceland is enjoying a year on year growth in GDP since 2012 with its GDP growth for 2015 forecasted to reach 3.5% (according to Politico.eu). In contrast to most E.U nations and the USA, Iceland was able to bring to justice and jail the bankers responsible for inflating the banking sector to ten times the size of the Icelandic economy prior to the outbreak of the crisis in 2008. This month Iceland paid the last part of its IMF loan amounting to $2.1 billion a legacy from the banks’ accumulated debt of $85 billion which Iceland refused to pay after holding a referendum (the result of the referendum was respected unlike in Greece where the political system is controlled and blackmailed by the EU).
Unlike EU countries that do not control their currency and cannot exercise and independent monetary and economic strategy, Iceland with its own currency (the Krona) and freedom to decide on its own was able to make this remarkable turnaround.
Iceland suspended its EU bid in 2013 and withdrew its request to join this year. Gunnlaugsson considers that it is highly unlikely that Iceland will reconsider joining the European Union in the foreseeable future.