Minister of Finance Steingrímur J. Sigfússon was not supported by the opposition parties in the Icelandic parliament, Althingi, in his request yesterday to speed up the treatment of the new Icesave agreement with the UK and the Netherlands.
Finance Minister Steingrímur J. Sigfússon. Photo by Páll Kjartansson.
Sigfússon suggested that parliament begin its discussions of the agreement immediately, while, according to parliamentary procedure, 48 hours must pass from when a case is submitted to parliament and until discussions begin, Fréttabladid reports.
MPs of the Independence Party and the Progressive party argued that if would be disrespectful towards the parliament and the nation if the matter would be discussed before they had the chance to prepare properly.
If exceptions from existing procedures are to be approved, support is required from two- thirds of MPs, which was not the case yesterday.
The government is keen on having the Icesave debate expedited as the International Monetary Fund’s review of Iceland’s economic stabilization program and the loans from the nations involved in the IMF bailout package are dependent upon the Icesave agreement.
A new agreement on loan terms in relation to compensating Icesave depositors was reached between Icelandic, British and Dutch authorities on Sunday. Iceland’s government subsequently submitted a new Icesave bill to parliament.
Click here to read more about Icesave.