First The Sugarcubes Break Up, Now This


After its economy and government collapsed, Iceland, the Albania of Scandinavia, is suffering a major currency crisis. As a result, the island nation's 300,000 citizens are no longer able to afford a delicious Big Mac—so McDonalds is skipping town. From the AP:

The Big Mac, a symbol of globalization, is pulling out of Iceland -- a victim of this tiny island nation's overexposure to the world financial crisis.

All three of Iceland's McDonald's restaurants -- all in the capital Reykjavik -- will close next weekend because the collapse of the Icelandic krona has pushed up the cost of imported ingredients.

"The economic situation has just made it too expensive for us," Magnus Ogmundsson, managing director of Lyst Hr., McDonald's franchise holder in Iceland, said yesterday. McDonald's requires the franchisee to import all the goods required for its restaurants -- from Germany -- and costs have doubled over the last year.

A Big Mac in Reykjavik retails for 650 krona ($5.29). But the 20 percent increase needed to make a decent profit would have pushed that to 780 krona ($6.36), he said. That would have made the Icelandic version of the burger the most expensive in the world.

Reykjavik bonus: The original, Icelandic version of the Sugarcubes classic "Birthday":