From Iceland — Opposition to Icesave deal foreshadows large-scale emigration

Opposition to Icesave deal foreshadows large-scale emigration

Published August 7, 2009

A Capacent-Gallup poll conducted in the latter half of July indicated that a large majority of the Icelandic people oppose the idea that the government should approve the bill on accepting state responsibility for the Icesave losses. Of the 717 respondents 48 percent were very much against the potential acceptance of the Icesave deal with its current wording, 20 percent were mostly against the deal, 16 percent were mostly in favour and four percent were very much in favour of the deal.
This strong opposition to the Icesave deal, which would burry the nation and people therein in substantial debt for an undetermined number of years to come, could see a mass emigration from the island according to Stefan Olafsson, a sociology professor with the statistics bureau of the University of Iceland. Olafsson stated in Frettabladid yesterday that as many as 10,000 Icelanders, and thousands of foreign nationals, may migrate as a result of the economic crisis.
Addressing these statistics, and seemingly contradicting himself in the process, an MP for Iceland’s Progressive Party, Hoskuldur Thor Thorhallsson, said that he believed the forecasted 10,000 citizens relocating was too high a number, but went on to say that the problem is, indeed, very serious and that the number of citizens migrating could, in fact, be higher if the Icesave deal is approved by parliament.
Meanwhile, Morgunbladid is reporting that a representative in the HM Treasury in Britain has said that “an agreement on Icesave has already been reached with Iceland,” when questioned about Althingi’s plans to add certain disclaimers to the current agreement.

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