Page last updated at 02:38 GMT, Sunday, 23 November 2008

Iceland protest ends in clashes


Clashes with police during protests in Reykjavik

Protesters in Iceland's capital Reykjavik have clashed with police during a demonstration over the handling of the financial crisis.

Several hundred protesters gathered outside the city's main police station to demand the release of a man jailed in a previous demonstration.

Five people were injured when police used pepper spray to disperse the group after some tried to storm the building.

Iceland faces a sharply contracting economy over the financial collapse.

The group outside the police station broke away from a much larger group of several thousand people who had gathered outside parliament to demand the government's resignation.

Some in the group tried to storm the police building.

The man they wanted to release was later freed, after a fine he owed over a previous demonstration was paid.

There has been a series of protests in Reykjavik calling for the government to resign over its handling of the economy.

The banking system collapsed in October and the currency, the krona, has lost half its value in the past year.

Iceland's government was forced to take over three of its biggest banks last month when they could not keep up with billions of dollars of debt taken on to finance overseas expansion.

The government has taken out $4.6bn (3.1bn) in loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and four of its Nordic neighbours to stay afloat.

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