PM: Icesave Referendum to Take Place ASAP Skip to content

PM: Icesave Referendum to Take Place ASAP

The Prime Minister’s Office released a press release yesterday saying a national referendum on the Icesave legislation should take place as soon as possible. The government has suggested February 20 and 27, and March 6 as the latest possible date.

The Prime Minister’s Office. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

The Icelandic parliament, Althingi, convened yesterday because of the president’s decision on Tuesday to veto the legislation, which was passed by parliament on December 30, and send it to a referendum.

According to Article 26 of the Constitution, a national referendum must take place should the president not sign a bill into law.

Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir emphasized to parliament the importance of respecting the Constitution, adding that all political parties agree that a national referendum should take place as soon as possible.

The government’s bill regarding the preparation for the Icesave referendum is currently being debated at parliament.

“The draft law is simple and without restrictions. I am confident that the majority of eligible voters will make up their minds and participate in the referendum. I have full trust in the Icelandic voters and know that they will make the right decision,” the PM stated during the debate.

“The government will prepare a vote and inform voters carefully, and by that bring the Icesave issue to a close. This is necessary to continue the ongoing economic recovery in Iceland,” she added.

Despite the president’s decision not to sign the bill it nevertheless enters into law and remains in force unless rejected in a national referendum.

“The Icelandic government has clearly stated its intention to honor its international obligations and remains fully committed to implementing the bilateral loan agreements with the UK and the Netherlands and thus the state guarantee provided for by the law,” a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office reads.

“Iceland has been in close contact with the governments of the UK and the Netherlands, other partner countries and the EU and the IMF, to inform counterparties about the latest developments and explain the process triggered by the decision announced by the president on Tuesday,” the statement concludes.

Click here to read more about Icesave.

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