Prime Minister of Iceland Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir said in an interview with Bloomberg, published today, that Iceland cannot afford to wait any longer for the International Monetary Fund’s review and the second payment of the loan to Iceland.
Prime Minister of Iceland Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir. Photo by Geir Ólafsson.
The IMF had originally planned to review the economic stabilization program for Iceland in February 2009. Sigurdardóttir hopes that there will be no more delays and that the IMF will review the program next month. “However, it’s clear that the IMF wants to see a solution in the Icesave matter, prior to Iceland’s review with the fund.”
In August, the Icelandic parliament, Althingi, introduced preconditions to the legislation on the state guarantee on loans that will be provided to Iceland from the UK and the Netherlands so that Landsbanki’s Icesave account holders in these countries can be compensated.
“We assume a formal answer from the Netherlands and the UK to the conditions and how we can uniformly move forward will arrive shortly,” the PM told Bloomberg. Last week she told Icelandic reporters that the discussions with British and Dutch authorities were well underway.
“It’s extremely important that both the UK and the Netherlands understand that Iceland is eager to honor its obligations,” Sigurdardóttir said. “However, taking on more than we can handle isn’t going to benefit anyone. This perceived link between the solution to the Icesave issue and the IMF program is, in my mind, unfortunate to say the least.”
Iceland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Össur Skarphédinsson also conveyed Iceland’s dissatisfaction with the continuous delays of the review of the economic stabilization program at the IMF in his speech at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Saturday, as stated on the website of his ministry.
Click here to read Bloomberg’s interview with Sigurdardóttir in full.