The Swiss representative on the board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) claims the board has not received any formal request of assistance from Iceland, known as a letter of intent. Iceland’s Prime Minister says such a letter was sent one week ago.
“To this date, no formal request [from Iceland] has been received by the fund’s board,” the Swiss representative on the IMF board, Thomas Moser, wrote to Fréttabladid in an email yesterday, adding that Switzerland is generally positive towards assisting Iceland.
Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.
Iceland’s Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde told Fréttabladid that a letter of intent, signed by Iceland’s Minister of Finance Árni M. Mathiesen and Central Bank governor and chairman Davíd Oddsson, was sent to the IMF on November 3.
“I don’t know how this could be. There must be some kind of an in-house system which controls what documents are sent with express delivery to the board,” Haarde said, adding that the IMF is a large and unwieldy institution.
Haarde said that since the letter of intent was sent, Icelandic authorities have been expecting their request to be discussed by the board.
Icelandic authorities suspect that their dispute with Britain and the Netherlands in regards to the Icesave deposits may be the cause of the delay, although they are not certain of the matter. Haarde requests an explanation from the IMF board as to why Iceland’s letter of intent has not been discussed yet.
IMF’s decision on Iceland’s application for an emergency stabilization program has been postponed thrice, as reported yesterday.
Acting Foreign Minister Össur Skarphédinsson told RÚV that he is certain that British authorities were causing the delay. British authorities however claim that they support Iceland’s application from a loan from the IMF wholeheartedly.
A spokesperson from the British Chancellery, who was not named, told ruv.is, that Iceland could on the other hand not expect special treatment from the IMF. The fund’s regulations are very clear and state that applicants must have reached an agreement with their loan granters.
Fréttabladid reports that the agreement between Iceland and an the IMF which was presented in late October has at least 30 items, the 19th of which was increasing the policy rate to 18 percent, according to an announcement from the Central Bank.