Iceland on the brink…
Iceland faces dwindling food supplies resulting from the lack of foreign currency reserves.
After a four-year spending spree, Icelanders are flooding the supermarkets one last time, stocking up on food as the collapse of the banking system threatens to cut the island off from imports.
“We have had crazy days for a week now,” said Johannes Smari Oluffsson, manager of the Bonus discount grocery store in Reykjavik’s main shopping center. “Sales have doubled.”
Bonus, a nationwide chain, has stock at its warehouse for about two weeks. After that, the shelves will start emptying unless it can get access to foreign currency, the 22-year-old manager said, standing in a walk-in fridge filled with meat products, among the few goods on sale produced locally.
Iceland’s foreign currency market has seized up after the three largest banks collapsed and the government abandoned an attempt to peg the exchange rate. Many banks won’t trade the krona and suppliers from abroad are demanding payment in a wider lead, according to the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Monday afternoon,advance. The government has asked banks to prioritize foreign currency transactions for essentials such as food, drugs and oil.