Today, following 10 weeks of debate, the Icelandic parliament, Althingi, passed legislation authorizing a state guarantee for the loans granted by the governments of the UK and the Netherlands to the Depositors’ and Investors’ Guarantee Fund of Iceland.
Inside Althingi. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.
The legislation was passed with 34 votes of 63. Fourteen voted against it, 14 abstained and one MP was absent.
According to the legislation, the state guarantee will be subject to certain criteria and preconditions. These are aimed at ensuring debt sustainability and allowing Iceland to restore its financial system and its economy while at the same time honoring Iceland’s international obligations, a press release from the Icelandic government states.
Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir welcomed the Althingi’s decision:
“This is one of the largest financial and economic issues ever faced by Iceland and it has greatly preoccupied the Althingi and the people since the collapse of the banking system last autumn.”
“The guarantee of the combined loans from the UK and the Netherlands constitutes the single largest financial commitment ever undertaken by the government of Iceland.”
“Therefore, as I am sure that every parliamentarian will appreciate, the Icelandic parliament has a solemn duty to ensure an economically sustainable future for the country.”
“This has been its goal. Its conclusion of the matter aims towards securing the recovery of Iceland’s financial system and economy. This is for the mutual benefit of both lender and borrower.”
The prime minister also praised the tireless efforts by parliamentarians in the Althingi to reach as broad a consensus as possible and stressed the importance of political unity in difficult times.
Following the outcome of the parliamentary process, the government of Iceland will now consult with the governments of the UK and the Netherlands.
Prime Minister Sigurdardóttir said that her government was hopeful that the Icesave issue would now be concluded in a mutually satisfactory manner.
Click here to read more about Icesave.