Scottish independence: Independent Scotland could flourish like other North Sea nations, says Iceland president

Olafur Grimsson: Scotland could prosper as independent nation. Picture: Reuters
Olafur Grimsson: Scotland could prosper as independent nation. Picture: Reuters
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Iceland’s president has said Scotland could prosper by becoming independent, joining other successful small nations in the North Sea.

• Scots could flourish like other small North European nations, says Iceland president

• Iceland economy showing strong signs of recovery despite devastating economic collapse of 2008

Speaking to the BBC, President Olafur Grimssonsaid Iceland was surrounded by successful, small nations in the North Sea, who were all doing relatively well.

He said: “Independence is not a disaster, but can be the road towards prosperity and a good society.”

Iceland is beginning to emerge from the trauma of its banking crisis, and is showing strong signs of economic recovery.

Grimssonsaid added : “If you take a long-term view of about 100 years or so, the history of northern Europe is that countries have become independent one after the other.

“Whether Scotland will follow that route is a decision for the Scots to take.

“But despite difficulties that we have all faced, the moral of the story of independence in the North Atlantic - from Norway, through Iceland and growing self rule in the Faros and Greenland - is of course that the nations have fared quite well.”

The country was part of the so called “arc of prosperity” along with Ireland and Scandinavia, which nationalists pointed to before the financial crisis as an example of what Scotland could become if it was independent.

But the financial crisis led to it being given a huge bailout by the IMF in 2008 as its currency plunged and its banks were allowed to collapse.

Mr Grimsson is the longest serving president in Iceland’s history, having held the post since 1996.