Faroese Minister of Finance Jóannes Eidesgaard is currently in Iceland. Yesterday, he and Iceland’s Minister of Finance Árni M. Mathiesen (pictured) signed a preliminary agreement on a DKK 300 million (USD 51 million, EUR 40 million) loan from the Faroe Islands to Iceland.
“It is a new and pleasing role for the Faroe Islands,” Eidesgaard told Morgunbladid. “It is pleasing to be the Faroe Islands’ Minister of Finance and to be able to provide help. If anyone knows what a crisis means for a country, we do. It has only been 16 years since we experienced a difficult depression ourselves.”
According to the preliminary agreement, for the first five years only interest rates and not the capital of the loan will need to be paid back. An agreement on repayment will be reached later. Interest rates will be decided on every year on December 1 and coincide with the interest rates of loans held by the Faroese government.
The Faroese Foreign Minister, Joergen Niclasen, is also in Iceland where he met with his counterpart Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir. Gísladóttir said they had discussed several topics, including the so-called Hoyvík agreement, a free-trade agreement between Iceland and the Faroe Islands.
The ministers discussed the import of Faroese agriculture products to Iceland, cooperation between the two countries in healthcare, increased capelin quota for the Faroe Islands in Icelandic waters and rights to the Hatton Rockall continental shelf.
Niclasen mentioned the Faroe Islands’ application to the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and Gísladóttir said the Icelandic government is positive towards it.
The Faroe Islands is an autonomous province of Denmark and is one of Iceland’s closest neighbors. The islands have a population of less than 50,000.
Click here to read more about the Faroe Islands offering a loan to Iceland.
Copyright of photo of Finance Minister Mathiesen: Icelandic Photo Agency.