From Iceland — Icesave Leaves Finance Committee

Icesave Leaves Finance Committee

Published December 23, 2009

The Icesave bill has left the Finance Committee, and is now on its way to the floor of parliament for a third and final debate before it is either voted into law, or defeated.
The committee majority told Vísir that all details of the bill had been worked out. Specifically, the sixteen details that the committee minority – and the parliamentary opposition in general – wanted to see rectified.
The bill is still not without its critics, of course, as even British solicitors for Mishcon de Reya found numerous flaws with the bills language, such as that the interest rate was too high, and that former Landsbanki depositors might be able to retrieve more money than they even put in.
The Icelandic public is overwhelmingly against the bill’s passage. A poll conducted by the Icelandic news and opinion blog Eyjan received almost 7,500 responses, nearly 70% of whom want parliament to reject the Icesave bill. This is about the same percentage of people who told a poll conducted by MMR for the newspaper Viðskiptablaðið that they wanted the bill defeated.
Even within parliament itself, the matter is fairly evenly split. Before entering the Finance Committee this previous time, support was 32 to 29 in favor of it going back to committee – two members of parliament were absent. Apart from Jónasson’s and Mósesdóttir’s votes against it, a third Leftist-Green MP, Ásmundur Einar Daðason, told reporters that he has doubts about voting for the bill in the third and final debate, when it comes out of committee.
However, MP Þráinn Bertelsson – previously with the Civic Movement but now no longer affiliated with any party – voted in favor. As the ruling coalition only holds 34 of a possible 63 seats, if Jónasson and Mósesdóttir again vote against the Icesave bill – and if Daðason does indeed vote against it as well – the ruling coalition will need Bertelsson’s vote in order to pass the bill.
Voting on the bill is scheduled to take place on Monday.

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