British newspaper The Independent contends that “the British Government has behaved like a bully in its treatment of Iceland.”
Even as many in the foreign media are erroneously reporting that the president’s veto means that Icelanders do not want to pay Icesave depositors, The Independent argues in part that, “Lord Myners, the City Minister, has characterised President Grimmson’s decision to block a compensation deal as Iceland ‘effectively saying it did not want to be part of the international political system’. That is a threat of isolation of the sort that Britain has more normally reserved for international pariahs such as Zimbabwe or North Korea. This sort of behaviour does not become Britain.”
This opinion is not just surprising coming from a British paper, but also for coming from a fairly conservative British paper. The paper appears to extend just as much if not more blame onto Britain as it does Iceland for the Icesave debacle.
“In the end, no doubt, Iceland will find itself with little choice but to comply with international law and find some way to repay Britain.” the column argues. “But all of this heartache could have been avoided had Britain taken preventative action before the crisis began. And the Government’s embarrassment at failing to do so now seems to be fuelling the rage it is directing at a small and helpless European neighbour.”