Thursday, 9 October 2008

If Iceland can do it....

I suspect the campaign for Welsh independence may be looking for another role model in the light of recent events.

This is what the Plaid Cymru AM Helen Mary Jones wrote in the Western Mail in August.

"Take Iceland as an example. It has a population of around 300,000 and is the tenth most prosperous country in the world (by GDP per capita) according to the International Monetary Fund. It is also the second most equal society in Europe. If Iceland can do it, Wales can."

Adam Price has reported how Iceland has a gdp £7,000 per head higher than in Wales with a growth rate double the Welsh level over five years.

"Why is it," asks Adam, "that small nations are succeeding more than ever before?"

He told the Western Mail last July: “Iceland, with the population of Cardiff, has achieved a very impressive economic growth rate of 10% thanks to an imaginative use of the tools and resources available to it."

Few would suggest today that Wales adopts a similarly "imaginative" approach.

Welsh Secretary Paul Murphy used the economic crisis to take a swipe at Labour's coalition partners today:

"Small countries don't necessarily flourish under current circumstances. Ireland is in some difficulty, to say the least, Iceland is in terrible difficulty.

"It is the strength of the United Kingdom economy as a United Kingdom that will ensure that we are in a position to withstand it [the economic crisis]."

We'll find out in the months to come just how strong that UK economy is.

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