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Iceland Vote: We Can’t Pay

  • March 8th, 2010
  • Posted by EUEditor


iceland-city.jpegCitizens of Iceland have voted overwhelmingly against honouring a foreign debt repayment program set up after the country’s banking system collapsed in 2008.


Following a credit boom that seemed to be making an economic miracle of the small country, with 320 000 people; the bust of 2008 took it all away.

iceland-flag.jpegOpponents of a post-bust repayment plan agreed with British and Dutch creditors, to get back $US5.3-billion (A$5.8-billion;, 8.3.10), said it was too demanding – and at a weekend referendum (6.3.10) 93% agreed with them.

The national President, Olafur R. Grimsson, brought on the vote by refusing to sign the agreement when it was passed by parliament.

iceland-map.jpegHe said it was a declaration against “greedy bankers”.

“There is a limit to how far you can pressure ordinary people”, he told BBC radio.

iceland-landscape.jpegMinisters in Britain and the Netherlands said there’d be talks with the government of the Atlantic island state and they would be flexible about repayment terms.

After the bruising end to Iceland’s independent venture in the wilds of high finance; political leaders have begun seeing budgetary constraints of European Union membership as a comparative safe haven.

Chances of accession to the common European home would be a middle to long-term proposition – once it was shown the household bills were going to be paid.



BBC World Service, London, “Business Daily”, 8.3.10.