PM Apologizes to Icelandic Nation Skip to content

PM Apologizes to Icelandic Nation

Prime Minister of Iceland Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir apologized to the Icelandic nation in her speech in parliament yesterday, on the anniversary of the banking collapse. She said the government had shown negligence and complacency ever since the banks were privatized at the beginning of the millennium.

Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir. Photo by Páll Kjartansson.

Sigurdardóttir added that the administration had failed in preventing the collapse or at least softening the blow. Many institutions and individuals let down their guard and now investigators and courts have the task of determining who is responsible and making sure that they shoulder it, ruv.is reports.

The PM said the nation was suffering and that it is not yet clear when the suffering will end. Therefore the nation deserves an apology.

She also presented a report on the economic collapse and restoration, revealing that her sources from the business environment believe that old gangs and interest groups are still holding the reins in many corners of society. Her government is determined to change that.

The PM also said that the cooperation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is about restoring Iceland’s credibility in the global community. The cooperation with the IMF is a guide towards economic welfare, she stated.

According to ruv.is, the majorities of MPs in the Icelandic parliament, Althingi, appear to support the IMF’s review of its economic stability program for Iceland, which has been delayed because of the Icesave dispute since February. The delay has caused Sigurdardóttir and other Icelandic ministers to criticize the IMF openly.

However, Morgunbladid reported that a cross-political majority for rejecting the IMF loan package is forming in parliament.

The Icelandic Minister of Finance, Steingrímur J. Sigfússon, met the managing director of the IMF, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, in Istanbul yesterday. After the meeting, Sigfússon told ruv.is that Strauss-Kahn is eager to have the economic stability program for Iceland reviewed as soon as possible.

Sigfússon said he explained that Iceland had done everything in its power to enable the IMF’s second review of the program. Strauss-Kahn showed understanding, Sigfússon said, and appeared interested in moving things along.

When asked whether he had received confirmation that the Icesave dispute with the British and Dutch governments had to be solved before the IMF would review the program, Sigfússon would not say.

However, it is clear that the UK and the Netherlands are influential within the IMF, the minister stated.

Click here to read more about Iceland and the IMF and Sigfússon’s meetings in Istanbul.

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