Given the confidence with which he gave Gordon Brown a dressing down in the European Parliament, you might think that Daniel Hannan MEP has a very sure footed judgment when it comes to economic matters, would you not?
Well here’s a very interesting article he wrote in the Spectator in October 2004 singing the praises of those well known economic wizards…..er……the Icelanders:
In the ten years that I have been travelling to Iceland, I have watched an economic miracle unfold there. When I first visited the island, it had just joined the European Economic Area. Eurocrats expected that this would simply be a transitional phase on the way to full EU membership, but Icelanders saw it differently. As far as they were concerned, the EEA gave them all the benefits of the single market with few of the associated costs. Iceland is covered by the EU’s so-called four freedoms — free movement, that is, of goods, services, people and capital — but retains control over its own agriculture, fisheries, foreign policy, social affairs and non-EU trade. And, unlike full members, Iceland makes only a token contribution to the Brussels budget, amounting last year to 0.07 per cent of its GDP.
Today, Icelanders are absolutely rolling in it.
Not today though! As well as being virtually bankrupt, they are begging to be let into the EU on a fast track! It is very difficult to contain one’s laughter given the Euro-sceptic flavour of Mr Hannan’s tribute to Iceland.
With a hat-tip to a regular commenter, Rusty.