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January 28, 2009
Plunging economies lead to rising social unrest

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects that economic growth worldwide will fall to 0.5 percent in 2009, the lowest rate in 60 years.

In response to failing economies, the IMF has issued emergency loans of close to $49 billion to countries including Pakistan, Hungary, Ukraine, Latvia and Iceland.

The Icelandic government has virtually collapsed, as the prime minister resigned and the two-party ruling coalition fell apart — just months after the country’s banking system collapsed.

Riots and protests have already occurred in Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Hungary, leading to concern that the economic slide around the world is going to lead to much more unrest.

Michele Wucker, the executive director of the World Policy Institute, joins Martin Savidge to provide insight into the social and political fallout from the economic crisis. They discuss whether social unrest brought on by the financial climate is likely to grow and how world governments will respond to such unrest.

Below, bloggers from around the world discuss the political and social consequences of the economic crisis.

An Icelandic blogger at “The Huffington Post” writes about riots outside the Icelandic parliament building, issuing a plea for help to Barack Obama.

A blogger at the “National Post” writes that rioting in Iceland is the worst in over a century.

YouTube user “haukursmagnusson” has been sharing videos of protests in Iceland, including this footage from a large protest in Reykjavik:

The “All About Latvia” blog writes that peaceful protests turned violent in Latvia’s capital city, while blogger “wanchope” provides images.

The “Baltic” blog discusses how Latvia’s protesting farmers may shake up the political scene, arguing that the present government is “living in a power bubble.”

The “Europe EcoMonitor” blog writes about possibly policy solutions for governments facing social unrest, forecasting future protests in Romania and Hungary.

The “Hungarian Spectrum” blog writes about an economic summit in Budapest, as Hugarian leaders attempt economic reform.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user scarndp under a Creative Commons license.

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1 comment


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