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Iceland leader to deliver Galbraith

Geir Haarde, the prime minister of Iceland

by Janet Harron

A rugged island in the North Atlantic, known for its fish stocks, was named the number one place in the world in which to live by the United Nations in November 2007.

The success of Iceland, Europe’s coolest country, holds innumerable lessons for Newfoundland and Labrador as this province embarks on its own economic boom. These lessons will be enumerated by none other than Geir Haarde, the prime minister of Iceland, when he visits St. John’s next week to give the John Kenneth Galbraith Lecture in Public Policy.

On Tuesday, April 15, on his second official visit to St. John’s, Mr. Haarde will discuss Small Country, Big Results: The Case of Iceland and explain how his country has become a global success story.

The Icelandic people currently enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world.

In November 2007 Iceland topped the list of the United Nations Human Development Index, which measures life expectancy, literacy, education, standard of living and GDP per capita for countries worldwide. Iceland also has a highly advanced economy, favourable demographics, a fully-funded pension system, strong government finances and proven economic flexibility.

Prime Minister of Iceland since June 2006, Mr. Haarde has extensive experience at various levels of government and as an economist.

While in St. John’s for the Galbraith Lecture, Mr. Haarde will participate in various seminars on Memorial University’s St. John’s campus.

The free public Galbraith Lecture takes place at 8 p.m., in the Inco Innovation Centre, Lecture Theatre room IIC-2001. Questions and discussion will be invited from the audience. A reception will follow.

The Galbraith Lecture Series in Public Policy is an initiative of Memorial’s Leslie Harris Centre and the Offices of the President and the Dean of Arts.

The annual event brings to Memorial outstanding figures whose work reflects excellence in scholarship and public affairs. It is intended to help put significant, timely and complex issues in context.

The series was made possible through a generous donation from Dr. John Kenneth Galbraith, the internationally-renowned Harvard economist and author who was awarded an honorary doctorate from Memorial University in 1999.

Dr. Galbraith died on April 29, 2006, at the age of 97.

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