Minister of Finance Steingrímur J. Sigfússon is hoping that the International Monetary Fund’s second review of the economic stability program for Iceland will be completed in April. The Icesave talks will probably not resume until May.
Finance Minister Steingrímur J. Sigfússon. Photo by Páll Kjartansson.
“We must wait and see how it goes. This month is about to end and Easter is coming up so we are not talking about days in this regard. But of course we are hoping that it will happen quickly,” Sigfússon told Morgunbladid when asked when the second IMF review can be expected.
Sigfússon met with representatives of China, Poland, Japan, the UK, Switzerland, France, the Netherlands and the US on the executive board of the IMF in Washington yesterday. He also met with Charles Collyns, Assistant Secretary for International Finance at the US Department of the Treasury.
Meetings will continue today. Gylfi Magnússon, Icelandic Minister of Economic Affairs, will join Sigfússon in discussions with managing director of the IMF Dominique Strauss-Kahn and other representatives of the IMF.
Earlier this week representatives of the Icelandic government and opposition met with British parliamentary committees in London to discuss the situation of the Icesave talks.
Chairman of the Independence Party Bjarni Benediktsson said representatives of the budget committee of the British parliament considered it unlikely that negotiations on the Icesave repayment scheme can resume before the parliamentary elections in the UK on May 6.
Árni Thór Sigurdsson, chairman of the Icelandic parliament’s foreign affairs committee, said Benediktsson’s assessment of the situation is correct, given the matter cannot be moved along before Easter.
“What we emphasized was that this matter would be resolved in a political manner and not just looked at as a financial matter or a legal dispute as we feel has been done until now,” Sigursson said of the meeting in London.
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