Having passed its final round in committee, the new Icesave deal struck between Iceland, Britain and Holland will now go to the floor of parliament for a third and final debate. This will culminate in a final vote on the matter.
As reported, the new deal reduces interests rates from 5% for both countries to 3% for Holland and 3.3% for the UK, costing the government some 50 billion ISK (about 328 million euros). According to the official summary of the agreement, “Liability of the state is limited as far as possible and in fact solely limited to (a) payment of interest as it accrues until June 2016, and (b) the portion which has not been recovered from the bank’s estate after that time (the shortfall)”. Most of the debt is going to be paid from Landsbanki’s estate until the end of June 2016. Fuller details can be read in the link.
While originally met with scepticism from conservatives, in the end they surprised even members of their own party when they voted in committee to support the deal. With the conservatives on board, passage of the law seems all but likely.
However, opposition does remain. Some members of the Progressive Party and every member of The Movement still oppose the new deal. Ólafur Elíasson, a member of InDefence – one of the most outspoken activist groups against government liability for Icesave – told Fréttablaðið last December, “If I may speak personally and not on behalf of my organisation, in the two years that I’ve spent working on this matter I still don’t see any logic behind Icelandic taxpayers paying for any of this.”
More recently, a petition calling for either a parliamentary majority to vote against the deal, or for the president to veto it and refer it to national referendum, has arisen. At the time of this writing, the petition has about 17,000 signatures. Yesterday morning, it had about 11,000.
The president has said that he has not taken and will not take a decision on the matter until the final vote is made in parliament.
Petition For Icesave Veto Gathers Momentum
Icesave: The Backlash Begins
Icesave Enters Final Round
Conservatives Strongly Divided Over Icesave
Slim Majority Support Icesave Deal
New Icesave Deal Met With Optimism and Scepticism
New Icesave Deal Reached