Minister of Finance Steingrímur J. Sigfússon sent a letter to the British and Dutch governments yesterday on behalf of the Icelandic government and opposition. He thanked them for their counteroffer on the Icesave loan terms, declaring that Iceland is prepared for further negotiations.
Minister of Finance Steingrímur J. Sigfússon. Photo by Páll Kjartansson.
According to Morgunbladid’s sources, the letter also mentions that the counteroffer is too much at odds with the ideas presented by the Icelandic negotiation committee in London last week to form a basis for the next round of negotiations. The letter can therefore only be considered an answer but not a counteroffer.
It is uncertain what effect the current political crisis in the Netherlands will have on the Icesave talks—the country is currently without a government and it might take three months to forge a new one, Morgunbladid reports.
Sylvester Eijffinger, an economics professor at the Tiburg University and one of the closest advisors of Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, believes that even though the Icesave dispute is not a big issue in the Netherlands, it still has a political influence.
Eijffinger said it is likely that a right-wing government will be elected at the end of May or beginning of June which would mean a stricter attitude towards Icesave and little room for concession.
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