The Icelandic Ambassador to the UK, Sverrir Haukur Gunnlaugsson, at the request of Iceland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Össur Skarphédinsson, sent a letter to all members of the UK parliament last week on Iceland’s reaction to the UK Treasury Committee report, analyzing the collapse of the Icelandic banks in October 2008, which was released in April.
The letter states that Iceland supports the committee’s conclusions that implementing the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act of 2001 to freeze the assets of Landbanki Bank on October 8, was a particularly harsh measure.
“The UK Government became an active participant rather than a passive observer in the unfolding financial turbulence in Iceland with potentially unforeseen consequences,” as stated on the website of Iceland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
The letter mentions the strong diplomatic ties between Iceland and the UK, which were jeopardized with this move since, “Icelanders felt branded as terrorists by their close British allies.”
However, the letter also emphasizes Iceland’s commitment to cooperate with the UK authorities on reviewing and reforming the European Union’s financial system.
Photo of Skarphédinsson, courtesy of the Foreign Ministry.