Road project in Iceland delayed to protect ‘hidden’ elves

  • In a survey conducted by the University of Iceland in 2007, 62 per cent of those asked thought it was at least possible that the critters exist.

A road project has been stopped until the country’s Supreme Court rules on a case to protect elves and the environment

Kashmira Gander

Monday, 23 December 2013

Humans in Iceland are standing up for the rights of elves – and not because Father Christmas works them too hard.

Elf advocates have joined forces with environmentalists to urge the Icelandic Road and Coastal Commission and local authorities to abandon a highway project because it might disturb the creatures’ habitat. Continue reading “Road project in Iceland delayed to protect ‘hidden’ elves”

Icelandic Govt to forgive each household $32,600 worth of debt

Wednesday, 04 December 2013

Wouldn’t everyone want to call Iceland their home?

Iceland’s government has announced that it will be writing off up to 24,000 euros ($32,600) of every household’s mortgage, fulfilling its election promise, despite overwhelming criticism from international financial institutions.

The measure was introduced by the country’s prime minister, Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, the leader of the Progressive Party which won the late-April elections on a promise of household debt relief.

According to the government’s website the household debt will be reduced by 13 percent on average.

Continue reading “Icelandic Govt to forgive each household $32,600 worth of debt”

Mystery traffic redirection attack pulls net traffic through Belarus, Iceland


There’s something happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear.

By John Leyden

Posted in Security,  22nd November 2013 13:58 GMT

Tons of internet traffic is being deliberately diverted through locations including Belarus and Iceland, and intercepted by crooks or worse, security experts fear.

Network intelligence firm Renesys warns that victims including financial institutions, VoIP providers, and governments have been targeted by the man-in-the-middle attacks. It reckons the diversions are malicious, and probably pulled off by manipulating BGP routing tables.

BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) is a core routing protocol that maps out the connections for internet traffic to flow through, from source to destination. As things stand, BGP has no built-in security. Routers may accept dodgy connection routes advertised by peers, internet exchanges or transit suppliers.

These suspect routes, once accepted, can have local, regional or global effects. Routers look for the shortest logical path (the least number of hops, in other words) and place blind trust in any path that’s advertised. And the shortest logical path can take weird and wonderful physical geographical routes.

In 2008, changes by Pakistan Telecom intended to restrict access to YouTube solely within the country had the affect of briefly diverting ALL YouTube traffic into a global blackhole, rendering the site unreachable for hours. Two years later, China Telecom rerouted up to 15 per cent of the world’s internet destinations on two brief occasions, after advertising false BGP route information that directed traffic through its networks.

The Pakistan YouTube hijack was accidental, but security researchers have since demonstrated how the same techniques might be used to highjack or otherwise interfere with internet traffic. Renesys reckons this is just what’s been happening in cases it has monitored this year:

For years, we’ve observed that there was potential for someone to weaponize the classic Pakistan-and-YouTube-style route hijack. Why settle for simple denial of service, when you can instead steal a victim’s traffic, take a few milliseconds to inspect or modify it, and then pass it along to the intended recipient?This year, that potential has become reality. We have actually observed live Man-In-the-Middle (MITM) hijacks on more than 60 days so far this year. About 1,500 individual IP blocks have been hijacked, in events lasting from minutes to days, by attackers working from various countries.

Continue reading “Mystery traffic redirection attack pulls net traffic through Belarus, Iceland”

Britain ‘snooped’ on Icelandic officials’ emails to recover cash from broken banks

 Published time: November 10, 2013 12:06                                                                             

AFP Photo / Nicholas KammAFP Photo / Nicholas Kamm


An Icelandic MP says Britain spied on Iceland while wrestling to rescue its citizens’ cash from collapsed Icelandic banks after the financial crisis. Birgitta Jónsdóttir claims she received a tip-off from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Jónsdóttir, who represents Iceland’s Pirate Party, maintains that the UK’s intelligence agencies systematically intercepted messages sent by Icelandic negotiators when Britain tried to recover savers’ cash held in the country’s banks that went bankrupt.

Jónsdóttir, a prominent WikiLeaks supporter, said that she was tipped off to the spying in 2010 by Assange, Iceland’s Visir newspaper reported.

Having received the tip-off, she warned members of Iceland’s negotiating team not to send emails to each other.

“The UK authorities had very good access to everything that was going on between members of the team. It is the role of intelligence, for example MI5, to spy on other countries, especially if it concerns their national interests. Their duty was to gather information and intelligence about us, and the duty of the Icelandic government was to do everything to protect us against such espionage,” Jónsdóttir told the newspaper.

The revelation could reignite tensions between the UK and Iceland, which were stoked in 2008 when the UK government used anti-terrorism legislation to freeze an Icelandic bank’s assets in the UK. The British Chancellor of the Exchequer at the time, Alastair Darling, seized the funds of Landsbanki’s Internet bank, Icesave, to protect UK depositors’ money after the Icelandic government reacted to Landsbanki’s toxic debts by nationalizing the bank.

Last week, Britain got involved in another major spy scandal when it was reported that the UK has been allegedly using its Berlin embassy to spy on the nearby Bundestag, as well as the office of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

A new report also revealed that British intelligence agency GCHQ allegedly helped its counterparts in France, Germany, Spain and Sweden develop methods of mass surveillance of internet and phone traffic in the last five years.

Documents supplied by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden to the Guardian newspaper show the UK Government Communications Headquarters’ enormous influence throughout Europe. GCHQ is part of the ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence-sharing partnership between the US, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The documents detail how the agency developed and promoted spying processes, built relationships with telecommunication companies and evaded national laws that restrict the surveillance powers of intelligence agencies.

Earlier reports revealed by Snowden showed that the US has been monitoring the communications of up to 35 world leaders, including Merkel and Brazilian President. Communications of hundreds of millions of people across the world were also monitored, the leaked documents revealed, including British, French, Spanish and American citizens.

Are these the most terrifying trousers ever? The 17th century NECROPANTS made from corpse legs – and are supposed to be lucky

EEV: Edited to contain the whole video

  • The Museum of Icelandic Sorcery &  Witchcraft in Holmavik houses the only known intact pair of necropants 
  • In order to make the necropants, or  nábrók, an individual had to get permission from a living man to use his skin  after his death
  • According to legend, the trousers brought  their wearer wealth and luck, but had to be passed on to a future generation  before his own death

By  Sarah Griffiths

PUBLISHED: 07:33 EST, 25  October 2013 |  UPDATED: 10:18 EST, 25 October 2013

Many people will be planning scary costumes  for Halloween, but nothing is likely to compare to this pair of macabre  trousers.

In 17th century Iceland, sorcerers wore  ‘trousers’ made of a dead friend’s skin that were said to bring them  wealth.

According to legend, a morbid deal was struck  between two friends to arrange who became the trousers or ‘necropants,’ which  were used for purposes of traditional magic at the time.

Scroll down for video and an audio  explanation of the trousers…

The only surviving pair of Necropants (pictured)The only surviving pair of Necropants (pictured). They  were made by skinning a dead man and according to legend, were worn by a friend  to bring him wealth and luck. The coin and piece of paper with a magical symbol  drawn upon it is shown to the right of the ‘trousers’

The Museum of Icelandic Sorcery & Witchcraft in Holmavik,  Iceland, houses the only known intact pair of necropants, that were meant to be  worn day and night by their owner.

In order to make the necropants (called  nábrók in the naive tongue) an individual  had to get permission from a living man to use his skin after his  death.

The surviving member of the pact had to dig  up his dead friend’s body and peel off the skin of the corpse from the waist  down in one piece without any holes or scratches, to make the magical  trousers.


The wearer of the pants had to steal a coin from a widow  and place it in the scrotum of the trousers, along with the magical sign called  nábrókarstafur, (pictured) drawn on a piece of paper

As soon as they stepped into the pants, the  skin of the corpse stuck to theirs own, according to the museum, which documents  17th century occult practices.

A spokeman for the museum told MailOnline:  ‘They would immediately be stuck with your own flesh and be part of your  body.’

To make the grim garment, the wearer of the  pants had to steal a coin from a poor widow at Christmas, Easter or Whitson and  place it in the scrotum of the trousers, along with the magical sign called  nábrókarstafur, which is drawn on a piece  of paper.

The coin is a ‘tool to gather wealth by  supernatural means,’ according to the spokesman.

It drew money into the scrotum from living  people so ‘it will never be empty’ as long as the original coin is not removed,  according to folklore.

The spokesman told MailOnline the wearing of  the necropants was ‘unusual behaviour’ and reports are ‘pure folklore’ but the  stories say that people could wear them for as long as they lived – but had to  pass them on to a willing recipient before they died.

If the sorcerer wearer of the pants did not  pass them on before his own death, it was said that his body would be infected  with lice as soon as he passed away, but if the trousers were passed on, they  could bring wealth to future wearers.

To ensure the transmission of fortune, the  future wearer of the pants had to put his leg into the right leg of the  necropants before the original owner stepped out of the left one.

According to the legend, the necropants  would keep the money-gathering nature for generations and produce an  endless  flow of coins.


  • An individual was granted permission from a  living man to use his skin after his death
  • The surviving individual dug up his dead  friend’s body and peeled off the skin of the corpse from  the waist down in one  piece
  • He stepped into the necropants, which stuck  to his own skin and then stole a coin from a poor widow to keep in the scrotal  area of the trousers, along with a piece of paper bearing a magical  sign
  • It was thought the ‘trousers’ brought their  owner luck and prosperity

The spokesman said: ‘People would be  able to use them as long as they lived, but they would have to get rid of them  before they die. If they would find someone to take them over the could last  forever.’

17th century Iceland was a tough place as it  suffered harsh trade restrictions from Denmark as well as natural disasters  including a huge volcanic eruption that killed half of the country’s livestock  in years that followed and led to widespread famine.

Coastal settlements were also raided by  pirates, locals sold into slavery in the Arab world, while a giant smallpox  epidemic in the 18th century wiped out a third of the struggling  population.

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Iceland cuts off ‘negotiations’ to enter EU : “This is how democracy works,”


Friday, 14 June 2013

Unlike Macedonia who seems to be willing to endure just about anything, Iceland shocked the EU last night by… showing self respect!?

Iceland’s bid to join the EU is over, the country’s foreign minister told the European Commission on Thursday (13 June).

“This is how democracy works,” said Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, on his first overseas trip, three weeks after being appointed to the recently elected Icelandic government.

He pointed out that both parties in the new government had campaigned against EU accession.

He commented that the main purpose of the trip had been “to tell the commission that the new government has made decision to stop negotiations with the EU.

“We are part of Europe and want to strengthen our relationship in other ways,” he added.

Speaking during a frosty press conference with reporters on Thursday (13 June), Stefan Fule, the Czech commissioner responsible for EU membership bids, admitted that Iceland’s decision was a personal blow, not mentioning it was a blow to the EU in terms of acquiring new territories, expanding its maritime borders as well.

“It was not easy for me as a person (to take the decision),” said Fule. But he added: “I am also a professional and I respect without any questions and any doubt, the will of elected representative and citizens”.

He also maintained that talks on Iceland’s accession to the EU should still be completed. “We remain fully committed to continuing and completing the process.”

The commissioner called on the Icelandic government to make a quick decision on whether it had any intentions to re-open negotiations.

“It is in the interest of us all that the decision is not taken in an unlimited period of time,” he said.

The outgoing social democratic government began EU accession talks in 2010, arguing that joining the bloc would offer economic security to the country, which was devastated by an economic crisis that wiped out its banking sector in 2008.

However, the April election, which was won decisively by the centre-right Independence party and the Progressive party, was viewed as a vote against EU membership. Opinion polls indicate that only 25 percent of Icelanders support EU membership.

Iceland has closed about a third of the 33 negotiation chapters in the EU’s body of legislation, known as the acquis communautaire. It also applies most EU single market legislation as part of its membership of the European Free Trade Area (EFTA).

“The level of alignment with EU decisions by Iceland is actually better than a number of member states,’ said Fule.

Nobel Laureate: No one serious would enter the EU…. Iceland drops bid


Friday, 24 May 2013

Nobel Laureate Edmund Phelps warned against the dangers of European Union membership as Iceland became the latest nation to question the sense of affiliation with a bloc mired in economic crisis.

Iceland’s new government said yesterday it will halt its EU bid and drop the previous coalition’s goal of euro adoption. Prime Minister Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson, whose Progressives won last month’s vote together with the Independence Party, said he doesn’t want to join a bloc in crisis as his own economy recovers. According to Phelps, the decision is likely to spare Iceland many of the risks plaguing the EU.

“We’re still learning about the European experiment and to what extent it’s going to succeed,” Phelps, 79, said in a telephone interview. “The possibility is not foreclosed that the experiment is going to prove unworkable, unsuccessful.”

The appeal the EU once held to nations seeking economic stability and access to free trade is crumbling as the region fails to emerge from its crisis. The U.K. is now openly questioning its allegiance with the EU while other members like Denmark have distanced themselves from the goal of euro adoption to protect their economies. Iceland, which in 2008 became the first nation to succumb to the global financial crisis, now enjoys faster economic growth than the EU average.

“I can’t believe that anybody’s serious about joining the EU right now,” Phelps said. “It’s like saying: ‘it’s a beautiful house — it happens to be on fire at the moment — we should buy it!’”

Gunnlaugsson formally took over as premier after a meeting in the island’s state council today.


EU in “denial” that sick economy costs lives, health experts say

Wed, 27 Mar 2013 00:01 GMT


* Financial crisis takes heavy toll on health, experts say

* Austerity drive blamed for shredding social safety nets

* Iceland shows alternative way as health standards hold up

By Ben Hirschler

LONDON, March 27 (Reuters) – Europe’s financial crisis is costing lives, with suicides and infectious diseases on the rise, yet politicians are not addressing the problem, health experts said on Wednesday.

Deep budget cuts and growing unemployment are tipping more people into depression, and falling incomes mean fewer people can see their doctors or afford to buy medicines.

The result has been a reversal since 2007 of a long-term decline in suicide rates, coupled with worrying outbreaks of diseases including HIV – and even malaria – in Greece, according to an major analysis of European health in The Lancet journal.

Countering these threats requires strong social protection schemes, researchers argue. But the austerity measures imposed after a string of crises in southern Europe – most recently in Cyprus – has shredded such safety nets.

“There is a clear problem of denial of the health effects of the crisis, even though they are very apparent,” said lead researcher Martin McKee of the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, a group backed by the World Health Organisation.

“The European Commission has a treaty obligation to look at the health effect of all of its policies but has not produced any impact assessment on the health effects of the austerity measures imposed by the troika.”

The so-called troika of the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund is the group of lenders responsible for a series of economic bail-outs.

McKee said the failure of European governments and the European Commission to face up to the health consequences of their policies was reminiscent of the “obfuscation” of the tobacco industry over curbs on smoking.

The case of Iceland, however, suggests there is an alternative.

Despite a devastating financial crisis, Iceland rejected austerity, following a referendum, and instead continued to invest in its social welfare system. As a result, the researchers found there had been no discernible effects on health since the crisis.

Iceland’s economy has now returned to growth, but the recovery is patchy and inflation has remained stubbornly high.

By contrast, McKee and colleagues reported that healthcare systems were now under strain in many European countries, including Spain, Portugal and Greece, with a series of negative consequences.

In particular, there is a growing trend for patients to seek care at a later stage, even though this will mean worse outcomes for individuals and higher costs for the healthcare system in the long term.

In Greece, meanwhile, hospitals are struggling to maintain basic standards, resulting in a rise in antibiotic resistant infections, and patients have suffered shortages of a number of medicines, including epilepsy treatments.  (Editing by Jon Hemming).


A look at Cyprus’ decision to tax depositors : Euro and the IMF resorts to absolute theft

By SARAH DiLORENZO     AP Business WriterAssociated Press

Posted:   03/16/2013 09:16:15 AM PDT

March 16, 2013 7:15 PM GMTUpdated:   03/16/2013 12:15:23 PM PDT

PARIS—People with bank accounts in Cyprus were shocked Saturday to learn that as part of an   agreement reached with international creditors the government has imposed a tax on all deposits to help bail out the nation and its banks. Here’s a look at the tax, which can be as high as 9.9 percent, and the problems it may pose.HEY, HOW CAN THEY DO THAT?

As one of 17 nations that use the euro currency, Cyprus can to raise or lower taxes whenever it wants. Early Saturday, it secured a (EURO)10 billion ($13 billion) bailout from its European partners and the International Monetary Fund to save the banking sector and avoid bankruptcy. In return, the island nation has imposed the new tax, among other moves.  It isn’t the first time that a eurozone nation has raised taxes to cope with mounting debt and to prop up struggling banks. Residents of Greece, Portugal and Ireland—all bailout recipients—have seen their tax bills skyrocket in recent years as those countries tried to reduce their debts. But Cyprus is charting new ground here, and there could be legal—and political—challenges.


Banks have already acted to seal off the amount of the levy—a 6.75 percent tax on deposits under (EURO)100,000 and 9.9 percent on those above—so depositors can’t access it. Bank customers still can draw on the rest of their funds via ATM machines this weekend, although banks that usually open on Saturdays had limited hours. No international transfers will be able to go through until Tuesday, since Monday is a holiday. Cyprus’ parliament is expected to meet Sunday to pass the required legislation. The deal also needs the approval of several eurozone parliaments; it’s unclear how fast they can act and what will happen to bank deposits in the meantime.


So far in the euro crisis, depositors have been protected. But European countries have taxed bank deposits before.  In the 1990s, Italy levied a tax on every bank account to stave off the collapse of its lire currency. The rate, however, was miniscule—0.06 percent—compared to what Cyprus is enacting. Iceland—another island with an outsized financial sector, although worse weather—also relied on depositors to prop up its banks. When the crisis hit there in 2008, Iceland protected its domestic deposits but reneged on deposit insurance for overseas, Internet-based accounts held by British and Dutch. Those two governments stepped in to help their citizens to the tune of $5 billion. The U.K. and the Netherlands sued Iceland unsuccessfully in a European court to get their money back, but Iceland has nevertheless started to repay some of that money.

European officials are promising this Cyprus is a unique case, and they are right in one aspect: Cypriot banks are overwhelmingly funded by deposits, not bondholders. So it wouldn’t have been very fruitful to go after bondholders.


All people with money in Cypriot banks—except those with money in Greek branches, which will be sold to Greek banks. EU and IMF creditors clearly wanted to protect struggling Greece, but perhaps also saw that Greece is the most likely place in the eurozone for a bank run. Protecting depositors there minimizes that possibility. Of the more than (EURO)68 billion on deposit in Cypriot banks, foreigners hold about 40 percent—and most of those are Russians. Cyprus could have only gone after non-EU depositors, but it may have been hard to distinguish between Cypriot and Russian savers, said Jacob Kirkegaard, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington. That is because many Russians have dual citizenship and many Russian businesses are registered on the island. Kirkegaard said Cypriots may paradoxically welcome this measure since the government just managed to widen its tax base to include a lot of Russians; the taxes levied in Greece, Portugal and Ireland were for residents alone to shoulder.


Cyprus built its economy in recent years by becoming a financial center, much the way Ireland and Iceland before it did. Its banks offered Internet accounts to foreigners, were renowned for their service, provided substantial privacy to clients and had very low taxes. It worked so well that Cyprus’ banking industry ballooned to nearly eight times the country’s gross domestic product at the height of the boom. In December, it was still more than seven times Cyprus’ (EURO)17.5 billion GDP. Russians—looking for warmer climes, lower tax rates and shared culture in the form of Orthodox Christianity—are thought to hold the majority of those accounts, with about (EURO)20 billion in the island’s banks.

But Cyprus’ banks held a lot of Greek debt and suffered significant losses when they took a writedown of those bonds as part of the Greek bailout. Much of Cyprus’ bailout money will be used to recapitalize Cypriot banks to prevent them from collapsing. Like other eurozone countries, Cyprus has also seen its deficit and debt explode as growth has ground to a halt. And with the banking system so large, the government wouldn’t have been able to bail it out even in a healthy economy.


Cyprus may be on holiday Monday, but the rest of the world will go back to work. Kirkegaard says that the decision to tax tap depositors indicates that the European Central Bank is confident that the risk of a bank run elsewhere in the eurozone is low—and by excluding Greek branches of Cypriot banks, they have reduced the possibility even further. Bond markets may react a little since bondholders were also tapped. Bank stocks will probably fall and they’ll see their borrowing costs rise since this deal signals that other eurozone countries may call on bondholders if their banks run into trouble.

But Heather Conley, director of Europe program for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, says it’s hard to know the far-reaching implications of this one-off deal. The “exceptions” created to solve Europe’s debt crisis are adding up, she said. And some investors may look at this late-night, three-day-weekend deal and see what she saw: a dress rehearsal for a country dropping out of the euro.


Associated Press Writer Menelaos Hadjicostis contributed to this report from Nicosia, Cyprus

Ministers were alerted as long ago as 2011 that illegal horsemeat was entering the food chain

Witch-hunt at Defra over 2011 warning about horsemeat

Iceland boss blames councils over ‘poor meat quality’

Oliver Wright

Sunday, 17 February 2013

The Government is tonight urgently investigating allegations that ministers were alerted as long ago as 2011 that illegal horsemeat was entering the food chain.

John Young, a former manager at the Meat Hygiene Service, which is now part of the Food Standards Agency (FSA), said he helped draft a warning letter to the former agriculture minister Sir Jim Paice. In it, the minister was told that the Government’s passport scheme – designed to prevent horse meat containing harmful drugs entering the food chain – was not working.

“Defra gave nearly 80 organisations the authority to produce passports and some of them are little better than children could produce,” he said. “It’s a complete mess.”

He claimed that as a result of the lax passport system there was no way of telling whether horses had been given the potentially dangerous anti-inflammatory drug phenylbutazone, known as “bute”, before being slaughtered – and entering the human food chain either legally or illegally.

The Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said he had asked the FSA to go back through its records to establish what warning had been given.

Sir Jim said he had been unaware of any warning at the time, telling the Sunday Times: “If this information was in Defra and was not being acted upon, it warrants further investigation. I would like to know why on earth I was not being told about it.”

Mr Paterson, who will hold a progress meeting with supermarkets and food suppliers tomorrow, said: “The problem we have is that under [European] regulation, food safety law is laid down by the Commission and too much of it is based on trust, and there has not been enough testing. I have to work with the system that I have inherited.

“I want to have a proper look at the system and within the constraints of European law I want to make sure that we do reintroduce more targeted testing and more random testing of products.”

But the head of the supermarket chain Iceland blamed the scandal on cost cutting by Government and local authorities, who he claimed were set on spending as little as possible on meat for schools, hospitals and prisons.

“Supermarkets are visible because they are on the high street but British supermarkets shouldn’t be blamed,” said Malcolm Walker.

“If we are going to blame somebody, let’s start with local authorities because there is a whole side to this industry that is invisible, that is the catering industry; it is massive business for cheap food and local authorities award contracts based purely on one thing: price.

“If you’re looking to blame somebody who is driving down food quality: it’s schools, it’s hospitals, it’s prisons, it’s local authorities.”

Mr Walker said he would personally not eat value meals but defended the supermarkets for not doing more testing for horsemeat themselves, saying: “Why would we? We don’t test for hedgehog either.”

Meanwhile Mark Price, the managing director of Waitrose, said the rising costs of rearing animals could have encouraged meat suppliers to “cheat”, either for their own “personal greed or to keep a company afloat”.


RT: Greece can easily slide into Civil War

Thursday, 08 November 2012

Greece risks sliding into a civil war, unless officials in Athens follow Iceland’s example and default on the country’s loans, journalist Charlie McGrath told RT.

­Charlie McGrath from Wide Awake News says Greece needs to admit to bankruptcy and start fresh from scratch.

“The financial health is not going to change in the country until they realize that they are in default – that they are bankrupt – and tell the banks that are holding their debt, and the European Union and the ECB, that they’re going to default,” he stressed.

RT: Do you think the austerity package will help to avoid economic collapse in Greece?

Charlie McGrath: No. We have been talking about this for years at this point, and we’re just going to kick the can down the road for a few more months, and then be right at it again and have the next round of protests, and the next round of rage from the people of Greece will be a little more violent from what we see now. It’s continuing to escalate. And this is what happens when you have an outright assault on a representative government, when you have an outright assault on the sovereignty of nations. You have the Troika taking over Europe. You have the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund – they are trying to be the government of Europe, of the eurozone.

RT: So what is worse for the Greek people: being kicked out of the euro and going into bankruptcy, defaulting, or more austerity being implemented?

CM: I absolutely think more austerity. They’re going to keep lending them money to pay their way out of debt? That makes completely no sense whatsoever. I think a model that Greece should follow is Iceland. Go ahead and tell the banks, I’m sorry, you lent this money, you wrapped this debt and you’re going to lose. This is what is what was supposed to happen in a free market capitalist country, but this is not what we have here. We’re just going to be loading debt on the people of Greece, and let’s be clear – it is not stopping at Greece. All of Europe is going to be going down the same path. This is why we see this push for the ESM; this is why we see a push for the OMT giving more and more power to Brussels. They understand fully well, that the sovereign debt crisis, even though sparked in Greece, isn’t stopping at Greece.

RT: How bad do you think protests in Greece could get?

CM: Well, we already have people killing themselves in front of the Parliament in Greece. You have people that are losing everything, losing hope, that the last thing to go to will be their sense that they have anybody that is representing them whatsoever. You have this tyranny of this technocrat majority inside Greece, 153 out of 300 vote more austerity onto the people. I think as they continue to lose more hope in that, they have control over financial destiny. How can it do anything but digress into anything, particularly into civil war?

RT:On Sunday, the country’s parliament is to approve a budget for next year. What do you think we can expect from that?

CM: The financial health is not going to change in the country until they realize that they are in default, that they are bankrupt and they tell the banks that are holding their debt and the European Union and the ECB that they’re going to default. This is what happens in market capitalism. Their prospect of returning to a healthy economy has to start with the realizing that they are completely and utterly broke, and starting over from scratch. //RT