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Iceland's commerce minister quits

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Iceland's commerce minister quits


The pressure is starting to show in Iceland’s government as protests continue over its handling of the country’s economic collapse.

Thousands demonstrated on Saturday, dismissing the prime minister’s promise to resign and call an early election as not enough. Today, Iceland’s Minister of Commerce Björgvin Sigurðsson announced he was stepping down. “The anger and distrust of the public is too deep for me to be able to regain their trust,” he said. Iceland’s leaders have faced sustained protests since the North Atlantic island became the first state victim of the global crisis in October. On Friday, embattled Prime Minister Geir Haarde, who is suffering from cancer, said he would stand down and called for an early election on May 9. Critics also want the central bank governor to go. To stay afloat last year, Iceland negotiated a massive aid package crafted by the IMF and effectively froze trade in its currency.

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