Full-text resources of CEJSH and other databases are now available in the new Library of Science.
Visit https://bibliotekanauki.pl


2011 | 1 | 14-45

Article title

Przemiany polityczne na Islandii w warunkach kryzysu bankowego i gospodarczego


Title variants

Languages of publication



The author begins with a brief description of the essential political institutions of Iceland, as a republic with a parliamentary cabinet form of government and the special role of the president, arguing with the point of views that Iceland should be seen as a state with a semi-presidential form of government. Describing the political situation before the banking crisis, the author underlines the strong position of the Independence Party, which according to the results of the parliamentary elections (elections in 2007), plays a leading role in the "political life" of the state. The author pays attention to the process of oligarchisation in that party and the informal systems of social-network-based links and pathological links between the worlds of politics and business. Growing since the 90s, the dominance of a few family clans, together with the deregulation and privatization of the economy, led to nepotism and lack of accountability on the part of politicians and business representatives. An expansion of the three largest Icelandic banks Landsbanki, Kaupthing and Glitnir, without any significant criticism and state control, has led to a situation where at the end of 2008 their assets were 10-fold greater than the GDP of Iceland. Loss of confidence in the interbank markets after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in the U.S., caused inhibition of liquidity and consequently the collapse of these banks, eventually acquired by the state. The most spectacular was the collapse of Icesave - the Internet branch of Landsbanki operating in the UK and the Netherlands. The disintegration of the banking system led to a disintegration of the coalition government. Early elections in April 2009, won by the Social Democratic Alliance and the Left-Green Movement, led to the formation of a center-left government of Prime Minister, Ms J. Sigur?ardóttir. The first major action was the government's reorientation of foreign policy and submitting an application for EU membership, and the subsequent arrangement of the debts after the collapse of these banks, reform of the central bank and banking supervisors, the establishment of a parliamentary committee to investigate the banking crisis and identify those responsible, the appointment of a special Prosecutor investigating violations of law during privatization of the banking sector and the actions taken on the eve of the crisis. The article contains the constitutional and legal analysis of the first and second so-called referendum. on Icesave, conducted after the President vetoed a further act concerning Iceland's agreements with its creditors - the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. As a result, residents of Iceland have not agreed to repay debts incurred without any fault on their part and through arrogance, incompetence and greed of the financial elite and the political managers controlling the banking system. This puts into question the country's future membership in the EU. The government, despite the opposition to the proposal made by a vote of no confidence, which fell, still take the difficult decisions associated with the revitalization of the banking system and economy of Iceland and improve its international image.






Physical description





Document Type

Publication order reference


YADDA identifier

JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.