Icesave Committee Comes Home - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Icesave Committee Comes Home

Published February 19, 2010

The negotiations committee who spent this week in London speaking with British and Dutch authorities about Iceland’s Icesave proposal have returned home. They will meet with party chairmen today.
In light of recent news that British authorities have expressed a willingness to re-negotiate the Icesave deal, Minister of Finance Steingrímur J. Sigfússon was asked whether or not the committee’s return signalled the contrary. He told reporters that he would not comment on the matter at this time, but would have more to say after the meeting today.
Conservative chairman Bjarni Benediktsson told Vísir that he sees no reason for the national referendum on Icesave to be delayed, but does believe that an investigative report – revealing who was behind the bank collapse – can wait until after the referendum if need be.
His partner in the opposition, Progressive chairman Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, told RÚV that discussions with British and Dutch authorities were now on a whole new foundation.
Should the British and Dutch say they want to re-negotiate, the national referendum on Icesave – estimated to cost Icelandic taxpayers 200 million ISK – would be largely superfluous, and all party chairmen with the exception of the Progressives have stated that the referendum could be dropped in those circumstances. For now, it is scheduled to take place 6 March.

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