Is Iceland Facing a Diplomatic War with the UK? Skip to content

Is Iceland Facing a Diplomatic War with the UK?

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown threatened a diplomatic war with Iceland if Icelandic authorities won’t honor their Icesave obligations, as stated on the news website

Bessastadir, the residence of President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, where he announced his decision to veto the Icesave legislation on Tuesday.

Minister of Finance Steingrímur J. Sigfússon said in an interview on RÚV’s news magazine Kastljós last night that the harshest comments made by foreign officials on the Icesave veto to the media in their respective countries should not be taken too seriously.

“People talk to the political reality in which they operate,” Sigfússon said. “It is sometimes the case that ministers and other political leaders use rather big words in the media in their countries but when you call them up they are much more relaxed.”

Sigfússon explained that he had had good telephone conversations with his counterparts in the UK and the Netherlands, Alistair Darling and Wouter Bos.

Norwegian-French magistrate Eva Joly, advisor to Iceland’s special prosecutor, told RÚV that she finds the president’s decision respectable and encouraged Icelanders to remain calm despite harsh reaction from the foreign media.

Joly also recommended that the Icelandic government acquire assistance from German and French authorities to mediate in the Icesave negotiations with the UK and the Netherlands.

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