Norwegian Minister of Finance Sigbjoern Johnsen does not oppose the idea that Norway would pay Iceland’s Icesave debt and then grant the Icelandic state a loan at a much lower interest rate than Iceland can receive from the UK and the Netherlands.
From Oslo. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
Johnsen told Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten that the idea has been discussed between Icelandic and Norwegian officials in the past weeks.
“We have discussed it but he Norwegian government has not received any request from Iceland regarding this solution,” Johnsen said. “It is something we will consider if such a request is received.”
Iceland’s Finance Minister Steingrímur J. Sigfússon told visir.is it is pleasing that the Norwegian government is prepared to loan Iceland money to cover the Icesave obligations. But he said it hasn’t been discussed formally yet.
It appears as if a cross-political sympathy for Iceland’s cause in the Icesave dispute with the UK and the Netherlands is forming in Norway.
“We are in very good contact with Norway and they pay close attention to this matter and we sense goodwill,” Sigfússon said, adding that it isn’t sensible to discuss this matter in any more detail at this stage.
The interest rate on the proposed Icesave loan from British and Dutch authorities is permanent at 5.5 percent.
According to Aftenposten, the Icelandic government is hoping that with refinancing of the debt from Norway, the rate could drop as low as two percent.
Click here to read more about Icesave.