Economics Minister Slammed for Foreign Currency Loans Skip to content

Economics Minister Slammed for Foreign Currency Loans

The MPs of the political party The Movement, Margrét Tryggvadóttir, Thór Saari and Birgitta Jónsdóttir, have released a statement calling for Minister of Economic Affairs Gylfi Magnússon (pictured) to resign.

They state that Magnússon repeatedly distracted the discussion on loans that were indexed in foreign currency and deemed illegal by the Supreme Court of Iceland earlier this summer, kept his knowledge of the legality of these loans secret from the parliament and the Icelandic nation and eluded the truth in important documents, mbl.is reports.

“If the minister won’t resign himself we don’t have any other option than to make a vote of no confidence as soon as the parliament reconvenes in September,” the MPs say in their statement.

Professor in political science Gunnar Helgi Kristinsson agrees with the MPs of The Movement, saying in an interview with RÚV radio that Magnússon distracted the discussion of the foreign currency loans in parliament in July 2009 when he refused to answer questions on that subject.

According to mbl.is, Kristinsson said Magnússon had access to information which he kept from parliament.

This case has weakened the minister’s political position, Kristinsson stated, arguing that a law on ministers’ obligation to inform and tell the truth must be established as has been done in Iceland’s neighboring countries.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs confirmed to Fréttabladid that the ministry’s former undersecretary Jónína S. Lárusdóttir received information on authority for foreign currency indexation, which Magnússon has accused the Central Bank of having kept from him.

“It is true that she had a copy of it,” said Benedikt Stefánsson, the minister’s assistant, adding that he doesn’t know whether she passed the information on to someone else. Magnússon was unavailable for comment as was Lárusdóttir.

Click here to read more about the foreign currency loans.

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