Iceland's president has refused to sign a controversial bill to repay $5bn (£3.1bn) to the UK and the Netherlands. President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson said he would instead hold a referendum on the bill, following public protests.
"It is the job of the president of Iceland to make sure the nation's will is answered," he said. "I have decided... to take the new law to the nation. The referendum will take place as quickly as possible." 5-Jan-10
Angry Icelanders are petitioning their president, putting pressure on him not to sign a controversial bill that has divided the North Atlantic island.
Tens of thousands of signatures opposing the so-called Icesave legislation were delivered to his official residence. Euronews website - 02-Jan-10.
President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson did not sign the Icesave-bill into law at a meeting with the cabinet yesterday. This was highly unusual, since usually the President would use the occasion to sign all laws ratified by Althingi, Iceland’s Parliament. . .
Many take this as an indication that the President will refuse to sign. He is in a very difficult spot. When he signed a previous bill on Icesave, passed by Althingi in late August 2009 he indicated that the reason was that many preconditions had been set in that bill. Those conditions have been watered out on the insistence of the British and Dutch governments. . .
Two days ago about 35 thousand people have signed a petition urging the President not to sign the bill. At the time of writing in the afternoon of January 1 the number has gone up to almost 55 thousand. 01-Jan-10.
The president of Iceland said Thursday he would delay a decision on a deal approved by parliament to pay Britain and the Netherlands for having compensated savers in a failed Icelandic bank.
On Saturday he is to receive a petition signed by nearly 40,000 of the island's 320,000 inhabitants opposing the arrangement.
If the president refuses to endorse the legislation, the issue would be put to a referendum. 31-Dec-09. AFP via Google
The Icelandic parliament is in turmoil in the third and final debate over Icesave. The parliament’s Budget Committee received last minute communications from British solicitors Mishcon de Reya indicating that they are in possession of important documents that the parliament should familiarise themselves with before making the final decision on the Icesave-bill. . .
The information allegedly suppressed was Mischon de Reya’s evaluation of proceedings against the British Financial Supervisory Authority that may strengthen the position of Iceland in talks about the Icesave-issue.
“I think it is safe to say that any European government, proven guilty of hiding such information, after having been repeatedly asked if all available and relevant information was on the table would not be allowed to remain in control of parliament” said Sigmundur David. 30-Dec-09.
Iceland's parliament approved an amended bill to repay more than $5 billion lost by savers in Britain and the Netherlands when the island's banks collapsed during the financial crisis.
Here is a timeline of events since Iceland's financial meltdown. 31-Dec-09
Iceland parliament's approved paying nearly four billion euros to Britain and the Netherlands, which had compensated more than 320,000 of their savers in a failed Icelandic bank.
Although the measure has stirred up resentment among many ordinary Icelanders hard hit by their country's financial meltdown in 2008, lawmakers approved the measure by a vote of 33 to 30 as the issue had become a major obstacle in the small Atlantic island nation's bid to join the European Union. 31-Dec-09. AFP via Yahoo! News
Iceland’s parliament may reject a foreign depositor bill for a second time in a move that would sour relations with the U.K. and Netherlands and that Fitch Ratings has signaled will weaken the sovereign’s credit grade.
All 28 opposition lawmakers in the 63-seat parliament will try to block a bill that obliges Iceland to cover the depositor claims using borrowed funds from the U.K. and Netherlands, party leaders told Bloomberg.
Even if the depositor bill does pass through parliament, it must still be ratified by President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson. More than 34,000 people have signed a petition calling on him not to sign the law. If he bows to public pressure, as he did in 2004 on a media ownership bill in response to a petition carrying 32,000 signatures, the bill will be put to a referendum. 20-Dec-09
STOCKHOLM, Dec 16 (Reuters) - The Icelandic government said on Wednesday it had finalised a deal with creditors of failed bank Landsbanki as part of the recapitalisation of its shattered banking system following last year's collapse. The Icelandic Ministry of Finance said in a statement the state would take an 81 percent stake in the new bank formed out of the wreckage of Landsbanki, recapitalising the bank with an equity contribution of 122 billion Icelandic crowns. 16-Dec-09.
STOCKHOLM, Dec 16 (Reuters) - The Icelandic government said on Wednesday it had finalised a deal with creditors of failed bank Landsbanki as part of the recapitalisation of its shattered banking system following last year's collapse.
The Icelandic Ministry of Finance said in a statement the state would take an 81 percent stake in the new bank formed out of the wreckage of Landsbanki, recapitalising the bank with an equity contribution of 122 billion Icelandic crowns. 16-Dec-09.
Were the movers and shakers in the Icelandic business and political elite so sure of not having to face any personal consequences of their actions that they were oblivious to the risks they were taking? . . .
Likewise you could be forgiven for thinking that Icelandic business circles were corruption free. White collar crimes were rarely investigated or prosecuted, least of all those of any significant scale. Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson was convicted in the Hafskip affair in the mid-eighties but his reward from the Independence Party turned out to be the gift of a newly privatized Landsbanki. After running that bank into the ground at a huge cost to the Icelandic taxpayer, Bjorgolfur and his son have not been charged with anything serious and their lawyers are hard at work making sure that their assets are left as untouched as possible and that only one of them can be made bankrupt, the older one. Economic Disaster Area website - 16-Dec-09.