Lost power: Feb. 1, 2009
Circumstances: Iceland's banking crisis was something of a preview of things to come for the rest of the continent, and its government was the first to fall as a direct result of the economic crisis. Haarde, who had been in office since 2006, announced his coalition's resignation following weeks of street protests after Iceland's overleveraged banking sector collapsed.
Current state of play: Haarde was succeeded by Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir, the country's first female prime minister and the world's first openly gay elected head of government. After a dismal couple of years -- gross domestic product (GDP) contracted 9.6 percent in 2009 -- the bleeding now appears to have stopped, with growth projected at 2.5 percent for this year. A fierce debate over whether to join the European Union is likely in the coming year.