Members of the opposition parties in parliament want to file a lawsuit against the UK for the use of anti-terrorist legislation to freeze Landsbanki’s assets in October 2008.
As many recall, as Iceland’s economy began to tank, the UK grew increasingly concerned that Landsbanki – which had branches in the UK – would cut and run with depositors’ money. In fact, Icesave was effectively an electronic branch of Landsbanki, and their refusal to let foreign depositors withdraw their money while granting the courtesy to Icelanders was reported to have infuriated the British government. In order to staunch the bleeding of cash, the government decided to use legislation that was created in part to fight terrorism, freezing Landsbanki’s assets in the UK.
This sparked a great deal of anger among Icelanders, who felt the move was extreme, and did more damage to the reputation and image of the country’s economy than anything else.
DV now reports that 14 members of parliament from the Progressives, the conservatives, and the Movement have submitted a parliamentary proposal that the prime minister file a lawsuit in international court against the British government, and demand damages be paid.
As far as what amount in damages they propose be demanded, the text of the proposal makes no exact amount, saying that preparations for the lawsuit itself should paint a clearer picture of how much damage the anti-terrorist law did to Iceland’s reputation and economy.