From Iceland — Iceland May Ask For Extension Of Icesave Deadline

Iceland May Ask For Extension Of Icesave Deadline

Published September 1, 2011

As the 10 September deadline looms ever nearer to pay up the 670 billion ISK Iceland owes over Icesave, government officials are considering asking for a postponement.
The European Free Trade Association Surveillane Authority (ESA) ruled last June that Iceland – since a public referendum killed an agreement between Iceland, the UK and Holland over the matter – is obliged by law to pay the full amount of the Icesave debt by 10 September or face going to EFTA court.
Mr Per Sanderud, president of the EFTA Surveillance Authority, said of the ruling, “Iceland must comply with the obligations it has subscribed to under the EEA Agreement. It must ensure compensation of all depositors under the conditions prescribed by the Deposit Guarantee Directive and without discrimination.”
Earlier this month, Minister of Finance Steingrímur J. Sigfússon said he wasn’t particularly worried about going to court, as he expected Landsbanki’s assets to cover all or most of the Icesave debt.
This position has not changed, but the government does feel it needs a little more time to get the money together.
Eyjan reports that Minister of Economics and Business Árni Páll Árnason is considering consulting with the ESA and asking for an extension, to allow enough time to pool together Landsbanki’s assets for paying the full amount.
Árni Páll has reason to believe there is a chance for a postponement, as there is new leadership in the ESA. Whether or not the Icelandic government can pull it off remains to be seen.

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