Both Iceland’s Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde and Foreign Minister Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir stated yesterday that a resolution with British authorities on the Icesave deposits is not a condition for a potential loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The ministers made their statements to that effect to Morgunbladid after their meeting with other ministers in the cabinet last night.
At the meeting, state negotiator Ásmundur Stefánsson, who was recently appointed to supervise the task force reviewing the economic situation in Iceland, explained to the ministers how the discussions between the Icelandic and British delegations on the Icesave dispute were developing.
“We have not reached a conclusion on this matter and discussions have now been postponed,” Haarde said, adding he did not know how long, but emphasizing that they would continue. “This is a matter that must be settled in some way.”
Haarde pointed out that all parties, Icelandic and British authorities, as well as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) wanted the dispute to be solved in a way that everyone could be content with.
However, as Haarde also pointed out, Icelandic authorities do not intend to agree to obligations other than those for which they are required to honor according to law. “We do not agree to the legal interpretation that Britain has submitted.”
Foreign Minister Gísladóttir added, “We are not prepared to bind the nation to this burden that Britain is referring to because we believe it would be beyond our means.”
Click here to read more about the development of the Icesave dispute between Icelandic and British authorities and here to read a transcript of a conversation between Icelandic Minister of Finance Árni M. Mathiesen and UK Chancellor Alistair Darling, which is said to have sparked the debate. Click here to read more about a potential loan for Iceland from the IMF.