Representatives of Iceland’s political parties met today to discuss the latest Icesave deal struck with UK and Holland, but the government was denied consensus.
In a meeting that last about 20 minutes, representatives of the opposition parties – the Independence Party, the Progressives, and The Movement – all rejected the new deal. Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir told Vísir she still hopes that agreement can be reached on the matter between all parties.
The deal will be put to the floor of parliament as a bill in the middle of this week, and it is expected that it will then go to the finance committee for further work, before returning to the floor of parliament after the new year.
However, a source close to Vísir claims that if the Icelandic parliament doesn’t reach an agreement by 31 December, Dutch and British authorities may reserve the right to scrap the new offer altogether.
The new agreement between the three countries differs sharply from the one that parliament approved (and which the president subsequently vetoed, which was then defeated in referendum) last year. For one, the new deal sets interests rates at 3% for Holland and 3.3% for the UK; the original deal set interest rates at 5%. Furthermore, most of the debt will be paid from Landsbanki’s estate, with the government primarily covering the interest, at a cost to taxpayers of about 50 billion ISK (about 328 million euros) between now and 2016.
For more on recent Icesave events, read the following:
New Icesave Deal Met With Optimism and Scepticism
New Icesave Offer Could Cost Iceland Much Less
President Asks “What Kind of Club is the EU?”