Too Good To Be True

Posted on Posted in Uncategorized

Lis­ten to the hype and you start to under­stand why Ice­land, this island in the mid­dle of the North Atlantic, full of lava, moss and gey­sers, is the dream des­ti­na­tion for every­one in the world. Because of Björk, because of the nature, the elves, because it does not have any army, nor nuclear power.

If there is any coun­try in the world that only elic­its only pos­i­tive asso­ci­a­tions, it is Ice­land. It seems that if only every­body would be a bit more Ice­landic the world would be a bet­ter, a par­adise.

The 2008 finan­cial cri­sis destroyed Iceland’s ide­al­is­tic facade. But only briefly. It didn’t take long until Ice­land was again seen as a bea­con of new poli­cies, equal­ity and jus­tice. It became the coun­try that not only recov­ered but became fairer, more demo­c­ra­tic and value-based.

In Ice­land bankers were jailed, the gov­ern­ment was top­pled, a new con­sti­tu­tion draft was crowd­sourced and all live in har­mony. Except that isn’t the case. Noth­ing is this sim­ple.

Ice­land has a lot to be proud of and there are things that can be learned from Iceland’s recov­ery, but per­fect it is not. The 2008 cri­sis was at least in some part home­grown, and see­ing its recov­ery as flaw­less neglected a great deal of inter­nal con­flicts and moral short­com­ings faced by Ice­landers on the path to recov­ery.


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