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Iceland's centre-right parties set to return five years after bank crash


Iceland

Iceland's centre-right parties set to return five years after bank crash

Five years after Iceland’s centre-right parties presided over the country’s spectacular economic collapse, early figures give them a comfortable lead in the general election.

The Independence and Progressive Parties which ruled the nation, often in coalition, for 30 years until the 2008 crash, lost out to parties from the left shortly afterwards.

But now the austerity weary population of around 320,000 seem to have supported their mandate of tax-cuts and debt relief.

With 20 percent of the votes counted, the Independence Party led with 24.9 percent, while the Progressives were just behind with 22.7 percent.

Meanwhile, the ruling Social Democrats trailed far behind on 13.9 percent.

By 2008 the barely regulated banks had expanded to 10 times Iceland’s GDP before crashing in a number of days.

The Social Democrats stabilised the country with moves that were praised by the IMF, but policy blunders, tax hikes and leniency towards foreign creditors have cost them their popularity.

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