From Iceland — Icesave Situation Intensifies as Referendum Nears

Icesave Situation Intensifies as Referendum Nears

Published March 1, 2010

As informal talks are under way between British and Icelandic authorities, tensions run high on both island nations.
Vísir reports that British authorities have asked for more information from the Icelandic negotiations committee with regards to Iceland’s offer. The Ministry of Finance told reporters that the committee has been in constant talks with British authorities throughout the day yesterday, and that formal talks resuming are not out of the question.
All the same, public opinion in Britain reflects frustration at recent events. An article appearing in The Times concludes, “The standoff could have farreaching implications for Iceland because it threatens to cut the country off from much-needed funding from the International Monetary Fund and other countries in the Nordic region. It also endangers its application to join the European Union. Both measures are seen as being key to the country’s recovery.”
These points are certainly felt here in Iceland, especially as a national referendum on the current Icesave law is scheduled for 6 March, unless an agreement can be reached between British, Dutch and Icelandic authorities. Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir didn’t rule out the possibility of this happening, but expressed her own frustrations with the matter, telling Vísir, “You get the feeling that as things are now, this referendum could be more or less meaningless, when we have an offer in our hands which is better than the one in this law [that is up for referendum].”

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