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Yearbook 2005

Iceland. The actions of the large Icelandic finance companies aroused debate in Europe during the year. According to Swedish calculations at the end of the summer, Icelandic financial players such as Kaupthing Bank, the retail group Baugur et al. bought companies for the equivalent of SEK 67 billion, mainly in the UK but also in Scandinavia. The scope was considered remarkable given the constraints of the Icelandic economy. Scandinavian experts warned of a "card house effect", as the purchases resulted in extremely high lending by Icelandic banks. In addition, rumors flourished that Icelandic capital was partly based on the Russian mafia's money laundering, accusations that were rejected by those concerned.

2005 Iceland

According to countryaah, several major financial players in the country had problems with justice. A fraud trial against Baugur's owner and CEO Jˇn ┴sgeir Jˇhannesson got a lot of attention during the year, but the prosecution was dropped. The Baugur chief claimed that the allegations were politically motivated, and a newspaper owned by him revealed emails that appeared to show that well-known politicians within the ruling Independence Party had acted against Baugur.

Independence Party leader DavÝ­ Oddsson decided in September to leave the policy to become head of the Central Bank of Iceland. Davi­ Oddsson had long dominated Icelandic politics, among other things. under 13 as prime minister. He had then also been involved in an almost personal feud with Baugur's owner.

Bobby Fischer, the controversial US former world champion in chess, received Icelandic citizenship during the year. He was thus released from Japanese detention and escaped extradition to the United States, where he was wanted for breaking the boycott against Yugoslavia by playing chess in Belgrade in 1992. Fischer won the World Cup title of Soviet chess player Boris Spasskij in ReykjavÝk in 1972.

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