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Fresh protests outside Icelandic parliament

Further protests in front of Icelandic parliament, PM and wife of president pelted with eggs.

ICELANDIC MPS WERE yesterday forced to flee parliament as angry protesters caused chaos at the opening of the Icelandic parliament.

Up to 2,000 protesters voiced their anger at cutbacks being implemented in state budgets across Europe. Eggs were said to have hit Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir and the wife of the Icelandic president, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson.

Minister of Economic Affairs Árni Páll Árnason, who was caught up in the protests, told The Guardian: “We have a difficult economic situation and this is something to be expected in a democratic country.”

The International Labour Organisation, a UN agency, has said that global unemployment will provoke further social unrest. “Governments should not have to choose between the demands of financial markets and the needs of their citizens” said ILO director general Juan Somavia. “Financial and social stability must come together. Otherwise, not only the global economy but also social cohesion will be at risk.”

Birgitta Jónsdóttir, one of three MPs to join the protesters, said: “There is a realisation that the IMF is going to wipe out our middle classes.”

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