Yet another example of why not to trust your Gov't. and here is Iceland a tiny
little place compared to many much larger Countries standing up to the
bullies and saying No. I like this.
REYKJAVIK | Sun Sep 4, 2011 3:46pm EDT
(Reuters) - Iceland's president accused European countries on Sunday of having bullied it into agreeing to guarantee repayment of the debts of a
failed bank, reviving a dispute with Britain and the Netherlands whose citizens are owed billions.
When Iceland's banking sector collapsed in the 2008 global financial crisis, accounts were frozen at the bank Landsbanki, which had accepted deposits
from British and Dutch savers through online funds called Icesave.
Iceland says the estate of the failed bank will be enough to repay about $5 billion of debt to the British and the Dutch. The two countries had wanted
the government in Reykjavik to give a state guarantee to the repayment.
In a referendum earlier this year, Icelanders rejected for a second time giving a guarantee.
"People (in the government) bowed to the bullying of the Europeans ...," President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson told RUV public radio. He said the British
and Dutch demand that the government guarantee the debt had been "absurd."
"So, what is happening now is proving that if the issue had been handled sensibly here from the beginning, it would have been totally unnecessary to
put the people of Iceland and our cooperation with Europe into this straightjacket," he said.
"The EU should investigate and face up to how in the world it was possible that EU member states agreed to support this absurd claim against
Iceland," he said.
The British and Dutch, with the support of other EU nations, had also persuaded the International Monetary Fund to pressure Iceland, Grimsson said,
adding that former IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn told him in January 2010 he was unhappy that the Fund was being used as a "fist"
Since the 2008 global financial crisis, Iceland had to accept a bailout led by the IMF, accompanied by a programme of economic reforms which have just
The administrators of Landsbanki have said the estate of the bank can more than repay the British and Dutch. They have said the payments can begin
later this year after final domestic legal action is out of the way.
(Reporting by Omar Valdimarsson; Editing by Patrick Lannin and Peter Graff)