Tuesday, June 21, 2011

News Iceland's President Warns Alaska On Economic Collapse

Michelle Theriault Boots ANCHORAGE, Alaska

When towering financial institutions fail, an economy that can fall back on fish, energy, clean water and the human need for wild places will survive.

That’s what Iceland learned in the wake of its dramatic 2008 economic collapse, the country’s President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson told leaders in Anchorage on Monday.

Alaska should take note, he said.

“Future prosperity will not be based or sustained…by building big financial sectors,” he said. “It is an economy based on real resources: On energy, ocean, natural resources, as well as the capabilities of people.”

Grimsson addressed the Alaska World Affairs Council in Anchorage as part of a trip to talk about the future of the Arctic at the Arctic Imperative Summit.

A silver-haired, bespectacled scholar and politician, Grimsson hails from the remote western fjords region of Iceland – a land of mountains, ocean and tough winters, and the part of the country “most similar to Alaska,” he said.

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