From Iceland — Icesave Talks at Crucial Point

Icesave Talks at Crucial Point

Published January 25, 2010

British and Dutch authorities told Icelandic authorities that they will not budge on certain aspects of the current Icesave deal. The ruling coalition and opposition parties continue to meet, although little progress is being made. Talks of bringing in Norway, France or Germany to intermediate between Iceland, the UK and Holland have also come to light.
In response to calls from the Icelandic government to return to the bargaining table, British and Dutch authorities repeated their worries that striking a second deal will result in another veto. To assuage these concerns, they demand that the Icelandic government show a stronger consensus on the Icesave deal. They have added as well that they believe the Icelandic government should hold itself accountable to paying the bare minimum per depositor, as they have said they would do on several occasions.
As a result, Icelandic authorities have discussed the possibility of bringing in either Norway, France or Germany to intermediate re-negotiations between Iceland, Holland and the UK. At this point, Norway seems the most desirable choice – they were previously instrumental in intermediating between Iceland and the UK over fishing territory disputes.
As it stands now, talks between the ruling coalition and the opposition parties over what form a new Icesave deal could take will continue through the week. Little progress appears to have been made, however.
A national referendum on the current Icesave law is expected to take place on 6 March, and it is estimated that it will cost taxpayers 200 million ISK. If the law is defeated in referendum, a re-working of the deal between the ruling coalition and the opposition, as well as re-negotiations with British and Dutch authorities, will have to continue anyway.

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