Monday, February 21, 2011

Icelanders to Have Final Say on British, Dutch Depositor Debt

Iceland’s President Olafur R. Grimsson will give his country’s voters the final say on repaying about $5 billion in debts owed to the U.K. and the Netherlands to cover depositor claims.

Grimsson’s announcement yesterday that he won’t sign a depositor accord struck between the three countries’ governments in December follows lawmaker approval of the bill. He told reporters he was responding to popular demand for a referendum after more than 42,000 of Iceland’s 318,000 inhabitants signed a petition asking him to block the accord. Forty-four of the Reykjavik-based parliament’s 63 lawmakers voted for the bill on Feb. 16.

“There is support for the view that the people should once again, as before, act together with the parliament as the legislator in this matter,” Grimsson said.'


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