From Iceland — Finance Minister: Icesave Referendum "Complicated"; Parliament In Uproar

Finance Minister: Icesave Referendum “Complicated”; Parliament In Uproar

Published July 1, 2009

Minister of Finance Steingrímur J. Sigfússon, in response to a recent joint proposal from Progressive and Civic Movement MPs that would put the Icesave deal up for referendum, said that the matter was “complicated” for a referendum.
On Monday, 12 MPs for the Progressive Party and the Civic Movement submitted a resolution to parliament which would put the Icesave deal up for national referendum, asking one question: “Should the Icelandic parliament confirm government responsibility for Landsbanki’s debts due to the Icesave bill?”
Sigfússon was asked by Morgunblaðið reporters why he considered it alright to put a proposed aluminum plant in the east of Iceland up for national referendum, but not Icesave, to which he replied, “Either the people wanted to build an aluminum plant or they didn’t. The Icesave problem, on the other hand, will not disappear if we reject the deal. What would we do in its place? It’s a complicated issue.”
Leftist-Green MP Álfheiður Ingadóttir, speaking in parliament yesterday, was met with boos and jeers when she told her colleagues that she believed a referendum was unnecessary, as the people already voted on Icesave in April, by choosing the parties which they chose. The response to this was so loud that the parliamentary president had to order the MPs to be quiet (not an unusual occurence in parliament), and Social Democrat MP Ólína Þorvarðardóttir compared the behavior of her colleagues to that of a classroom.

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