A group of German citizens, who lost high amounts with the collapse of the Icelandic banking system, donated EUR 1,000 (USD 1,300) and candy to Reykjavík charity Maedrastyrksnefnd on Friday, which distributes food to residents in need.
Reykjavík’s financial district. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.
According to visir.is, around 30,000 Germans had deposit accounts worth EUR 330 million (USD 426 million) in total in Kaupthing Edge when it went bankrupt in October last year.
The group representing the account holders came to Iceland to discuss the situation with Icelandic authorities and met with Minister of Business Affairs Gylfi Magnússon on Friday, visir.is reports.
One member of the group, Karlheinz Bellmann, first came to Iceland to seek compensation in November. He noticed that many Icelanders were suffering because of the crisis and decided to return and contribute to the society.
Bellmann said Germans are generally compassionate towards Icelanders and the difficulties they’re facing.
On Saturday, Bellmann and his associates joined Icelandic protestors on Austurvöllur parliamentary square, the 18th in a series of demonstrations. They stood by the stage, holding the German flag and a note reading: “Stop the Nightmare – Together!!!” Morgunbladid reports.
In an interview with Financial Times Deutschland today, President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson said that the Icelandic state should not compensate Kaupthing Edge account holders in Germany. The statement has garnered considerable attention in Germany.
Grímsson said Germans have to understand that Icelanders lost everything when their banking system collapsed. “It is unfair of foreign investors to expect Iceland to shoulder the entire responsibility of the financial crisis.”
Click here to read more about the protests on Austurvöllur.