From Iceland — Most Icelanders Do Not Trust Government To Handle Bank Sale

Most Icelanders Do Not Trust Government To Handle Bank Sale

Published November 25, 2022

Andie Sophia Fontaine
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The majority of respondents to a poll conducted by Maskína do not trust the government to handle the sale of Íslandsbanki, Vísir reports.

As reported, Íslandsbanki has been owned by the Icelandic treasury since the wake of the 2008 financial crash, but Bjarni has been very keen on selling shares of the bank to private interests again. The March 2022 sale of shares amounting to a 22.5% stake in the bank has caused considerable criticism, not least of all when it was revealed that one of the share buyers in the closed and discounted sale of shares was none other than Bjarni’s father.

While Bjarni has denied any knowledge that his father was amongst the buyers, the Icelandic National Audit Office noted a great number of errors in how the sale was conducted.

Respondents of the poll were asked, “How do you trust the government to sell the rest of Íslandsbanki?”. Of those who responded, 63% said “poorly”; 21.4% said “moderately” and 15.6% said “well”.

When asked if they support Parliament establishing an investigative committee to examine how the previous sale was conducted, 61% of respondents said they support the idea; only 12% said they were against the idea; and 27% had no opinion.

Investigations may indeed be pending, as Þórunn Sveinbjarnadóttir, the chair of the Constitutional and Supervisory Committee, told RÚV that the report still left a lot of questions unanswered. Whether investigations will be conducted remains to be seen.

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