Reykjavik, November 2, 2009
Mr. Dominique Strass Kahn
The International Monetary Fund
Washington, d.C, 20431
The current economic crisis is the most serious challenge Iceland has ever faced. Iceland’s problems are partly due to the ongoing global economic upheaval. Further reason for the depth of this crisis in Iceland is that the banks, which were privatised - in accordance with IMF policy - early this century, were much too risk-seeking. It is reprehensible that the Icelandic government did not intervene to halt this development. Following the collapse of the banking system, the Icelandic government sought IMF assistance in October 2008.
We, the signees of this letter, seriously doubt that the cooperation between Iceland and the IMF is for the benefit of the Icelandic nation. It is becoming clear to us that the agenda of the IMF is primarily to indebt the Icelandic nation in order to protect the interests of investors. We, the Icelandic people, take on an enormous responsibility, and it is our obligation to ensure that future generations will not be mired in debt beyond their capacity to pay. As Icelandic citizens we are entitled to clear answers to our burning questions.
Recent surveys have shown that a clear majority of the Icelandic people are against further cooperation with the IMF. A key factor here is that the IMF put the Icelandic goverment up against the wall to protect the interests of UK and Holland in the Icesave dispute. It is unacceptable that an international organization should conduct its business in such a manner, and this has seriously undermined the credibility of the IMF in Iceland.
As the fundamental interests of a whole nation and our future generations are at stake, we request a meeting with you, the Managing Director of the IMF. We would like to discuss with you the economic program for Iceland and ask you to explain certain components of it. We will present careful criticism based on official data. The meeting can take place in Reykjavik, Washington or any other location of your choice. It is essential that this meeting take place as soon as possible and no later than December 15, 2009.
We, the signees of this letter, are citizens of Iceland. We are of all ages, both genders, and have different political views. After the banks collapsed last fall we organised civil meetings where government ministers and members of Parliament appeared and answered questions from the public – face to face. We believe that you, as the Managing Director of the IMF, should consider it an honor to follow in the footsteps of members of the oldest parliament in the world, Alþingi,and meet us in an open and honest discussion.
Agnar Kr. Þorsteinsson, IT technician,
Ásta Hafberg, Project Manager
Elías Pétursson, Managing Director
Einar Már Guðmundsson, Author
Gunnar Skúli Ármannsson, MD
Gunnar Sigurðsson, Artistic Director
Guðmundur Andri Skúlason, Marine Engineer
Halla Gunnarsdóttir, MA in International Relations
Haraldur L. Haraldsson, Economist
Heiða B. Heiðarsdóttir
Helga Þórðardóttir, Teacher
Please respond to:
Open Civil Meetings
c/o Gunnar Sigurðsson