How Bad Is the Euro? Ask Iceland

Iceland with Háteigskirkja Lutheran Church and mount Esja in distance.
Andrew Holt | Getty Images
Iceland with Háteigskirkja Lutheran Church and mount Esja in distance.

Iceland's Progressive Party wants to stop trying to join the euro and adopt the Canadian dollar instead.

Just in case you've been wondering how big a mess Europe is really in, the folks who imploded a little Northern economy have an idea.

Iceland has toyed with idea of joining the euro for a number of years, but after the krona plummeted during the country's economic implosion in 2008, the idea gained more urgency. Now the tiny nation has an application pending to join the euro. But the Progressive Parry - a minority party in Iceland, but still - is arguing that the Canadian dollar is a safer bet.

The idea was first reported in Canadian Business, and it has since been gaining ground. Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson, leader of the Progressive Parry, has been quoted describing the Canadian dollar as "very promising." (It doesn't hurt that Iceland is at odds with the European Union over fishing rights and whaling.)

The Bank of Canada simply says it will be glad to sell Iceland all the loonies it wants. But currency experts say it wouldn't be hard for Iceland to make the switch. Also, both countries have commodity-linked economies - fish in Iceland's case, oil and more in Canada's - along with a highly educated and relatively affluent populace. And of course, there's the snow and ice.

Talk about a Great White North.


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