One Month To Pay Icesave Or Go To Court

Words by

Published August 2, 2011

Iceland has about one month to pay the UK and Holland on Icesave, or go to an international court to get a final ruling on the matter.
As many of our readers are no doubt aware, a public referendum last spring overwhelming voted against paying Britain and the Netherlands the billions of crowns both countries are demanding for losses incurred by depositors in their countries who put money in the Icesave online bank, which crashed in the fall of 2008.
Earlier this summer, the European Free Trade Association Supervisory Authority (ESA) ruled that Iceland must pay up on Icesave. A statement from the ESA said in no uncertain terms that Iceland “is obliged to ensure payment of the minimum compensation to Icesave depositors in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, according to the Deposit Guarantee Directive.”
Well, the deadline looms ever closer, as now Iceland has until 10 September to either pay 670 billion ISK, or go to EFTA court.
Minister of Finance Steingrímur J. Sigfússon told Fréttablaðið that he expects most of the assets of Landsbanki – of which Icesave was essentially an “online branch” – to cover the money owed, although he contends there are still details that need to be worked out.
“It is interesting that when the ESA ruling came, no one blinked an eye over what it meant in real terms,” he said. “It naturally means that if we don’t intend to fight the ESA, then we have to pay this sum.”
Iceland’s chances in EFTA court are difficult to assess. The ESA cites the Deposit Guarantee Directive, an international finance treaty of which Iceland is a signatory. Whether the court sides with ESA’s or Iceland’s interpretation of this treaty is unclear.
But a victory in EFTA court might prove a mixed blessing – while avoiding paying billions of crowns, foreign investors might feel reluctant to put their money in a country that will go to court to avoid paying debts. On the other hand, it may also set a new precedent in international banking.
Whatever the outcome, the case is sure to attract global attention. Stay tuned.



News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Icelandic Hot Dogs Containing Danish Beef

by

Sláturfélag Suðurlands (SS) reports that there is a shortage of Icelandic beef, prompting the company to blend Danish beef into their hot dogs. Sold under the slogan “Icelanders Eat SS Hot Dogs”, SS hot dogs are arguably one of Iceland’s iconic foods. However, Viðskiptablaðið reports that they are no longer 100% Icelandic. “Unfortunately, due to the present shortage of Icelandic beef, we have been forced to use a little Danish beef that meets our quality standards,” SS product manager Guðmundur Svavarsson told reporters. While not specifying on the exact quantity of Danish beef in the hot dogs, Guðmundur provided assurances

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

New Wave Of “Microsoft” Fraudsters Hit Iceland

by

Fraudsters pretending to be employees of Microsoft are contacting Icelanders by both letter and telephone. MBL reports that one of the most common tactics these fraudsters will use will be to call people on their home phones, purporting to be employees of Microsoft. These fraudsters tell the potential victim that Microsoft has detected a virus on their computer, and that in order to be rid of it, they must go to a specific website to download and install “virus removal software”. In reality, these are not people calling from Microsoft, who cannot see into your computer to look for viruses

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Fewest Sunny Days In 25 Years

by

July in Iceland has so far had one of the fewest sunny days in over a generation. MBL reports that July has only had three completely cloudy days so far – July 1, 10 and 18. However, a lack of completely cloudy days does not necessarily mean an abundance of sunny days. 50.6 hours of sunlight have been recorded for the month of July so far. This is 58.5 fewer hours than the sunlight average for July calculated from 1961 to 1990, and 85.3 fewer hours than the average over the past ten years. In fact, there has not been

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Iceland’s Symphony Conductor Joins Protest In Tel Aviv

by

Conductor and Music Director of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Ilan Volkov, will lead an ensemble of musicians at an anti-war protest today at Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square, reports Slipped Disc. The protest will call for peace talks and an end to the occupation. A number of other cultural personalities have pledged their support and will be participating.  “We will do some improvised vocal and instrumental response to the situation. It is a small part of an evening with many other performances.” said Ilan.  The group will gather in the square at 8pm. Their slogan reads: ‘We stand together against the silence of

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Sturla Turns 800

by

A celebration is planned in Dalasýsla this weekend to mark 800 years since the birth of saga writer Sturla Þórðarson, reports Vísir. The guest of honour will be former president Vigdís Finnbogadóttir and guest speakers include; Speaker of the House Einar K. Guðfinnsson, Norwegian politician Olemic Thommessen, writer Einar Kárason and director of the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies, Guðrún Nordal. Sturla Þórðarson, Snorri Sturluson’s nephew and pupil, was a chieftain as well as a saga and contemporary history writer active in the 13th century. His most famous work is Íslendinga saga, the longest saga within Sturlunga saga. In the wake of the dissolution of

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Foreign Committee To Meet Over Gaza

by

Iceland’s Foreign Affairs Committee will meet to discuss the situation in Gaza, although the Foreign Minister has called it “pointless” to cut ties with Israel. RÚV reports that Birgir Ármannsson, the chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee, will call together the committee to discuss the situation in Gaza. “The events that we have been closely following are of course tragic, and they cause us a lot of worry,” he told reporters. “The news that is being reported, daily now, underlines the seriousness of the issue.” The committee’s meeting is in response to a request from Left-Green MP Svandís Svavarsdóttir to

Show Me More!