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Iceland's president has said he will block a £2.3bn deal to compensate the UK for coming to the aid of 300,000 customers of Icesave, the failed internet bank.
President Grimsson's decision comes on the back of public opposition in Iceland to the bill, which would force the country to pay back the UK and Dutch governments for compensating savers who lost money in Icesave accounts following the collapse of Landsbanki.
There have been large demonstrations against the agreement...
Originally posted by infinite
January 5, 2010 is a historical day for Icelanders. The Icelandic President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson had a tough decision to make, and difficult choices to make. To listen to the 23% of the nation that signed a petition calling on him to put the state guarantee for 5.4 billion dollars to be paid to the British and Dutch governments to a national referendum. Or to ignore the nation and sign the bill for the government, after the bill had been passed through the parliament with a narrow vote on December 30, 2009 after months of acrimonious debate, tainted with secrecy and dishonesty on the part of the government.
Let’s also put this debt into perspective: 320.000 people live in Iceland, each and every person on the island, including children and the elderly, the disabled and the poor, would have to pay around $30,000 under the bill. The danger if Icelanders will accept this enormous burden is that the entire welfare system would simply collapse with no money to run it. On January 5th the Icelandic president had the courage, backed up by his nation, to place the interest of the people before that of the banks.