The government’s bill on state guarantee in relation to the agreement with British and Dutch authorities on Iceland compensating Landsbanki’s Icesave depositors was approved with disclaimers by the Althingi parliament’s Economic and Tax committee on Saturday night.
Inside Althingi. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.
All parties except for the Progressive Party, which will submit a special evaluation, supported the bill. It will probably be up for a second round of discussions at Althingi tomorrow, Fréttabladid reports.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Össur Skarphédinsson said that British and Dutch authorities have been notified of the disclaimers. If it turns out that further negotiations with them are needed after Althingi has passed its final vote on the Icesave bill, negotiations will simply have to be resumed, he added.
Law professor Sigurdur Líndal considers the disclaimers a counteroffer and as such an offer for a new agreement. “However, it is possible that they accept them without new negotiations taking place.”
Minister of Finance Steingrímur J. Sigfússon is hoping that will be the case. “The agreement has room for the disclaimers that have been made. It is the framework that we consider necessary for us to start this thing.”
Chairman of the Independence Party Bjarni Benediktsson does not agree. “These strict conditions in the disclaimers change all of the agreement’s prerequisites completely, which means of course that the agreement has been rejected.”
According to Morgunbladid, all ambassadors of foreign states in Iceland will be informed of the position of the Icesave bill today and it will also be presented to the representatives of the European Union in Brussels.