From Iceland — Minister of Finance Considers Referendum Delay Justified

Minister of Finance Considers Referendum Delay Justified

Published January 27, 2010

Minister of Finance Steingrímur J. Sigfússon told parliament that he believes delaying the national referendum on the Icesave law would be the right thing to do, if an investigative report regarding the bank collapse will be published close to 6 March.
Speaking in parliament, Sigfússon told his colleagues that he believes the report will shine a stronger light on the Icesave issue, and that the public has the right to have such information, before making their decision on Icesave.
The report was supposed to be published last fall, but was delayed until 1 February. Yesterday, it was announced that it won’t be out until the end of February.
Sigfússon believes the people should have ample time to read the report, and that therefore the date set for the Icesave referendum should be delayed. It will not, however, have an effect on when Icelanders outside of the country can begin to vote on the matter, he added.
The release of the report – which contains the findings of an investigative committee looking into the collapse of the banks – has become somewhat of a dreaded event by this point, with some actually speculating the information will result in riots, as Icelanders will see evidence of nepotism, and an entanglement of political and business interests.
Members of the opposition – including the conservatives and the Progressives, who were in power during the times leading up to the collapse of the banks – are against delaying the date of the Icesave referendum.

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