27.08.2016

Iceland ready to abolish capital controls

The Icelandic economy, tremendously affected by the financial scock of 2008 which saw the three main banks fail and the collapse of the GDP in a few months by 60 percent, finally sees the light. The center-right government in power, hit by the scandal of Panama papers in the spring, has announced a major step towards the abolition of controls on capital movements introduced after the crisis.

The proposals being considered by the national parliament (Althingi) concern the Icelanders, who will see again the possibility (repealed after the shock of 2008) to invest in real estate and other abroad, and buy foreign currency without limitations for travel in the world.

If Althingi will give its ok, explains Tues Gudmundsson, Governor of the Central Bank, to Reuters, by the beginning of 2017 the majority of Icelanders will be made free from restrictions: the 2008-law will be revoked, at least according to government proposals, including the obligation to file with the authority of Icelandic public check every foreign qualifications.

Currently the economy, revived thanks to tourism, internet, ecology, growing by more than 4 percent per year while unemployment is at its lowest, 2.9% in July. In addition, the past few days an Icelandic cabinet meeting decided last Thursday to set up an inter-ministerial committee to deal with the effects of the possible exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union (EU). Infact UK is the one of most important trade partners and Iceland’s Foreign Minister Lilja Dögg Alfreðsdóttir, explained "we want to prepare ourselves carefully for Brexit".


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