Iceland’s quick recovery tied to fishing
Three and a half years after Iceland collapsed in a heap, Dadi Palsson’s fish-processing plant has the air of a surprising economic recovery.
Mr. Palsson arrived at 4 a.m. on a recent workday. Twelve tons of cod were coming in. Soon, his workers would bone, slice and pack the fish for loading onto towering container ships headed abroad.
In 2008, Iceland was the first casualty of the financial crisis that has since primed the euro zone for another economic disaster: Greece is edging toward a cataclysmic exit from the euro, Spain is racked by a teetering banking system, and German politicians are squabbling over how to hold it all together.
But Iceland is growing. Unemployment has eased. Emigration has slowed.
Iceland has a significant advantage over stressed euro-zone countries—a currency that could be devalued. That has turned its trade deficit into a surplus and smoothed its recovery.
So brisk is the fish business that Mr. Palsson’s factory draws Polish workers to this island off an island, a heart-shaped dollop of volcanic rock five miles from Iceland’s south coast.
Click here to watch a video of Icelandic President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson speaking at last month’s European Seafood Exposition about fishing’s role in Iceland has been able to emerge from the 2008 financial crisis >