Iceland’s economy to be put straight by Norwegian / News / The Foreigner

Iceland’s economy to be put straight by Norwegian. Things have been turbulent on Iceland since their economy collapsed last year. Sven Harald Øygard is the man who has been given the job of sorting things out. Approximately one week ago, Øygard was contacted and asked if he would consider becoming temporary head of the Icelandic Central Bank. “I decided there and then, even though I asked for some time to think about it. I couldn’t say no to this type of challenge”, he told Aftenposten.

iceland, krone, britain, norwegian



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Iceland’s economy to be put straight by Norwegian

Published on Sunday, 1st March, 2009 at 21:31 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 1st March 2009 at 21:43.

Things have been turbulent on Iceland since their economy collapsed last year. Sven Harald Øygard is the man who has been given the job of sorting things out.

Icelandic currency
Icelandic currency
Photo: Belterz/IStockphoto


Short notice

Approximately one week ago, Øygard was contacted and asked if he would consider becoming temporary head of the Icelandic Central Bank.

“I decided there and then, even though I asked for some time to think about it. I couldn’t say no to this type of challenge”, he told Aftenposten.

Since then, he has spent the last few days in their national library reading up on Iceland’s economy, history, and culture.

“The Icelanders wanted me to be available when the new Central Bank Law was passed on Thursday”, he said.

A formidable task

The Icelandic Central Bank expects that private spending will decrease by 25 percent, and unemployment will rise from 1.7 last year, to 9.4 percent this year.

“The most important short-term goal is to create confidence in the Icelandic krone so that it can increase in value”, says Øygard.

But Iceland faces some daunting challenges.

“The most demanding is that there are 10-12 procedures that are simultaneous, and in many areas of their economy.”

Things got so bad last year that Thorolfur Matthiasson, the Icelandic professor of economics suggested, changing the island’s currency to Norwegian krone. And Britain seized Iceland’s assets under the Anti-terror law, something that chilled relationships between the two countries.

Experienced

Øygard comes from his present position of director of McKinsey Consultants, has 11 years of experience at the Norwegian Central Bank, and was Undersecretary in the Norwegian Ministry of Finance at the beginning of the ‘90s. But he has seen these sort of things happen before. Norway had its own financial crisis in the late ‘80s.

Close relatives

And how does he feel about working on Iceland?

“I have visited Iceland many times, and they are friendly”, Øygard told the Norwegian Press when he met them on Friday.

And because of their economic crisis, expect to see more Icelanders here in Norway in the future. Norway’s European Employment Service (NAVEures) has been to the island looking for people to fill vacant positions.



Published on Sunday, 1st March, 2009 at 21:31 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 1st March 2009 at 21:43.

This post has the following tags: iceland, krone, britain, norwegian.





  
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