Britain’s Anti-Terrorism Act Expensive for Iceland Skip to content

Britain’s Anti-Terrorism Act Expensive for Iceland

The direct damage caused to Icelandic companies because of the anti-terrorism act imposed by UK authorities after the banking collapse in 2008 to freeze the assets of Landsbanki is estimated at ISK 2-9 billion (USD 17-77 million, EUR 12-56 million) in a new report conducted for the Ministry of Finance.

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MPs of the opposition’s Independence Party requested in March, 2011, that Minister of Finance Steingrímur J. Sigfússon explain to the Icelandic parliament, Althingi, what financial consequences the anti-terrorism act had caused, Fréttabladid reports.

The report, conducted by IFS Greining, was submitted to parliament on Saturday. Sigfússon told television channel Stöd 2 that he believed the financial damage may even be more extensive than stated in the report and would not rule out a damages case against British authorities although he doubted it would be successful.

Both chairman of the Progressive Party Sigmundur Davíd Gunnlaugsson and Independence Party MP Gudlaugur Thór Thórdarson are of the view that a legal case should be prepared.

The report included 40 of the country’s largest import and export companies. When asked whether the implementation of the anti-terrorism act had directly impacted their businesses, for example with the halting of deliveries or cancelation of trade contracts, most executives said this was not the case.

However, 90 percent of executives stated they had felt the indirect impact of the anti-terrorism act: 60 percent rated the impact as minor, 25 percent as substantial and three percent as profound.

The authors of the report noted that executives found it difficult to differentiate between the impact of the anti-terrorism act and other factors of influence which emerged around the banking collapse.

The largest part of the estimated financial damages stated above was caused by the disallowance of terms of payment, the report stated.

There are strong indications that indirect influences exceed the estimate as the act damaged the reputation of the Icelandic economy, and therefore Icelandic companies, and it is practically impossible to evaluate to what extent and how long it takes to restore the reputation, the report concluded.

Click here to read more about the anti-terrorism act.

ESA

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