Democracy not Plutocracy – The Natural Resources in Our Hands! Austurvöllur November 23, at 2 PM

Efling encourages people to gather at a protest meeting in Austurvöllur, this Saturday, November 23 at 2 PM. Efling, the Constitution Society, The Transparency Society against Corruption and many more, have joined forces calling for a demonstration at this meeting. Among speakers is Sólveig Anna Jónsdóttir, chairman of Efling. The Namibian public is robbed by Iceland’s largest fishing company. The Icelandic public is robbed of the profits of its natural resources. Annually, dozens of billions of Icelandic krónas stream into the private pockets of the owners of large scale fishing companies, money that should go into public funds for the maintenance and build-up of society.Injustice thrives in the shadow of a dated constitution and political corruption. Political parties stand submissive against the special interest of a handful of those who have managed to get an iron grip on the entire nation in the shelter of exploitation and excessive profits.  Financial connections between the large scale fishing companies and the political parties need to be investigated and systematic uprooting of tax heavens and money laundering is crucial.In the fall of 2012 Althing asked the public for recommendations for a new constitution and received the requested proposal and subsequently called for a national referendum so the public could decide.  Over 2/3 of the voters (67%) agreed that the recommendations should form the basis of the new constitution. Seven years have passed and nothing has happened! In Iceland, democracy is undermined by subservient service to special interests and a threatening disregard for the democratic will of voters and repeated attacks on the new constitution.The band Hatari which was Iceland’s Eurovision entry this year will perform at the protests. The band was noticed by many by their political stand with Palestine during the competition which was hosted in Israel.—Demonstration has been announced at Austurvöllur outside the Icelandic parliament Althing, Saturday, November 23, in wake of the disclosure of grand scale briberies and corruption of Samherji, Iceland’s largest fishing company. Running big operations at home and large scale subsidiaries in multiple countries around the world, Samherji has been nick-named the flag ship of the Icelandic fisheries.  One of their biggest international operations has been in Namibia in Africa, one the world’s poorest countries.The scandal was revealed in a joint TV program prepared by the Icelandic State TV, Wikileaks and Al Jazeera and aired on the Icelandic state TV channel, November 12. The program disclosed exploitation and massive briberies sent from the Samherji bank account in Norway into accounts in tax havens in Mauritania (and other countries) and from there to personal bank accounts in Dubai, owned by Namibian politicians.  The disclosure has caused political conflicts and resignation of two Namibian ministers involved in the briberies. In Iceland, the scandal sent tremors all over society and ordinary citizens are both angry and sad in the wake of the disgraceful corruption. Only three years ago, the Panama papers revealed hidden treasures of Icelandic politicians and numerous Icelandic magnates in faraway tax heavens.The demand for a new constitution to take effect – voted for in a national referendum in 2012 – has been ignored by political leaders. The Samherji scandal points the focus once more on the importance of a new constitution as it is yet another case that shows the abnormal connections between Icelandic political leaders and the big fishing companies, which have generously paid into the funds of some parties and their representatives in the Althing.The Samherji-Files program with English subtitles: also:    Demands:

  1. Immediate resignation of the Minister of Fisheries.
  2. Althing implements the new and revised constitution which the people of Iceland wrote and voted for in a national referendum in 2012 – and of course with the provision of natural resources agreed by the voters.
  3. Profits of the utilization of the commonly owned resources should go into public funds aimed at societal development and to ensure decent living standards for all.