Dutch Lawsuit Against Iceland Underway - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Dutch Lawsuit Against Iceland Underway

Published July 6, 2009

Several Dutch Icesave depositors are preparing to sue the Icelandic government for losses, and one of these depositors spoke extensively with Grapevine.
As we reported last week, Dutch authorities told RÚV that they would not assist in this effort and have full trust in Icelandic officials. Nonetheless, about 200 Dutch Icesave depositors expect to sue to Icelandic government for losses they incurred.
In an interview with the Grapevine conducted by Irina Domurath, spokesman Gerard van Vliet had some choices words to share. When asked to his share his thoughts on the current Icesave deal Vliet told Grapevine in our previous feature, “It stinks! Iceland should be aware of the effects of all the decisions taken by the late government. … The Icelandic Parliament should be aware that behind this first agreement there are more obligations to fulfill. Parliament can better get a clear picture of ALL those obligations (and Landsbanki implications) and aim for an overall solution in stead of a misty deal.”
When asked to explain what the purpose behind the lawsuit was, Vliet explained, “For us a law suit is the last resort. We like to work out an acceptable solution for the 40 mln Euro claim that we have as Dutch 100.000-plus savers. If, however, Iceland is not willing to arrange a solution for the discrimination effects [refering to the previous government’s decision to allow Icelandic depositors to withdraw from Icesave but not foreign depositors], we will file a charge with the EFTA Surveillance Authority. The EU already acknowledged the fact that our claim is rightful and Iceland has to correct the decision to deny us access to our accounts in New Landsbanki.”
While the group claims to have the support of the Dutch parliament, Johan Barnard, chairman of the Dutch negotiations team of the Icesave deal, told reporters that this is completely wrong, saying that the Dutch government has complete trust in the Icelandic courts to show Dutch depositors fairness, and that Dutch authorities would not involve themselves against any lawsuits against the Icelandic government.


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