Icelandic news translated into English

November 13, 2008

Deals about Icesave the only way

Picture by Reuters

Picture by Reuters

The Icelandic government has decided to try to deal with England and Netherlands in the next days on how the Icelandic government can compensate the balances in the Icesave accounts of Landsbankinn to the ones who are hurting from the loss when the banks were bankrupt. It is the evaluation of the head men of the government that the only way to get the loan approved from the IMF and other governments is to finish these deals as soon as possible.

According to the sources of the Morgunblaðið the Icelandic government has been under a lot of pressure from the united nations and the founders of the European Union to make these deals. It has been public that it is the united position of all the 27 ESB countries to be against that Iceland gets the help from IMF until the Icesave debts have been negotiated about.

The ESB countries are not agreeing with the legal reasons of Iceland in he matters and say that this is a political perspective. It is reasoned in the matter that this issue has to be finished in the way that there is no doubt of the value of the executive order from the ESB, that is valid in all the European economic area, about the mutual insurance of the balances. If the unfortunate example is set by giving in on the deals to Iceland everything would be upset in the European bank market in the current situation and the balance owners would stop trusting the banks about practice in another country than its own.

The sources of the Morgunblaðið say that for instance the representatives of all the Nordic nations have made it clear that it will not work to talk about a loan from them until the Icesave disputes have been solved. It was also hinted by the ESB council that if Iceland admits the demands of England and the Netherlands the united nations will try to set the terms in an order that the debt and repayment would not be too heavy for Iceland.

News Article by noname
Original Article in Icelandic


Will Iceland accept it‘s responsabilities?

Filed under: economy,Politics — newsfrettir @ 1:33 pm
Tags: , , , ,

‚No agreement has been reached with the IMF wich suggests that the government is vacillate in it’s stance. The issue isn’t threats from Britain or Holland or the position of the Scandinavian countries, but whether Icelanders are willing to shoulder their responsibilities or not. It is up to us. If we will not, than what little trust we still have and what small hope of symbiotic help from the international community. Iceland’s IMF loan application lies dormant until a clear heading is presented’ writes Skúli Thoroddsen, general manager of the Federation of General and Special Workers in Iceland, on the federations webpage.
‘It was the chairman of the board of governors in the Central bank that first raised the theory that Icelanders were under no obligation to guarantee credit balance accounts of the Icelandic banks abroad. That invoked the anger of the British. The emergency laws than confirmed that only credit balance accounts in Iceland were insured and the Brits went ballistic. What is most important to realize is that people can not be discriminated by race and it matters not whether the accounts were in branches in Iceland, London or Amsterdam. Every one should be equal, that’s the law that applies, even though the whole thing boils down to ethics of international trade and trust. That is the problem that the government is facing right now.’
‘Accourding to uncomfirmed statements it appears that the Icelandic government has decided to endeavor to reach an agreement with Britain and Holland in the next few days on how the Icelandic government will compensate the Icesave account holder. That is the only way to get a loan from IMF and other countries, and that is in fact the most important task of the day’ writes Mr. Thoroddsen.
‘Can we afford to take over responsibilities of the accounts abroad?’ Mr. Thoroddsen asks in his column.
‘No, we can’t. The burden of so much debt would mean that defection, collapse and decades of poverty her in Iceland if we were to carry it alone. We must therefore seek assistance and negotiate our way out of the crisis, acknowledge the political mistakes of last years and meet our destiny with humility. The longer we draw this out, the anger of the public in Iceland and abroad will escalate. People want to know where we are heading. We need a strategy and we are calling for accountability.

The country is facing destitution because of political mistakes that is a fact. Any trust the Central Bank had is long gone and others that bear some blame in the matter are the supervisory authorities both the Financial Supervisory Authority and the Ministry responsible for bank affairs (the Ministry of Commerce). It is there for only reasonable that the president of the Icelandic Confederation of Labor (ASÍ) is calling to the Ministers of Finance and Commerce to shoulder their responsibilities, seeing as they have failed in their official duties. One can agree to that. They should have been aware of the fact that the growth of the banks abroad was bound to end in misfortune.
Even though no one could have imagined the horrific consequence that was to be, the political and administrative responsibilities are great and unavoidable. They must assume it. But we must not forget the accountability of those that were responsible for the expansion and reaped the benefits at the expense of the public. Their day of reckoning has to and must be soon to come.’

Original article in Icelandic
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November 12, 2008

The situation is dead serious

Problems acquiring loans and disputes because of Icesave seem to have put the loan application from Iceland on slippery ice for an unknown amount of time. Steingrímur J. Sigfússon, chairman of the left wing party, said when he came out of a meeting with the board of standing committee on foreign affairs this morning that the situation is dead serious, the nation could not tolerate this situation any longer. The outlook is specially serious for export industry since everything is frozen to the core.

People surrounded the house of the Parliament today at noon to express their demand to have elections for the Parliament as soon as possible.

Steingrímur says that it condemnable that the government has nothing else as a resort to this situation than the International Money Fund. The case is in a total mess. Every single day in uncertainty is very dear for the nation.

It has repeatedly boiled over between politicians and their foreign confrere overseas because of the Icesave dispute. According to the newsroom Árni M. Mathiesen, Minister of Finance, was scolded at the meetings with other Ministers of Finance from other European countries in Brussels last week. It is said that Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, the President of Iceland, had a quarrel with a foreign ambassador during a lunch meeting last Friday.

Steingrímur says that it was a terrible disappointment to experience how the English, Dutch and other European nations handled some issues and some of the Northern countries were more hesitant than expected.

He says it is hard to say what Icelandic government can do to improve these communications while they are being forced to sign political results for the Icesave dispute. Information arrived late and in a bad manner and the people of the nations are angry because of the process around the Icelandic banks. The name Iceland is drastically damaged and the reputation of the country is in a bad shape. This is harsh and very sad.

News coverage by Þóra Kristín Ásgeirsdóttir
Original Article & Video in Icelandic

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Obviously serious kinks in the procedure of the IMF application

The International Money Fund has suspended the procedure of a loan for over two billion dollars to Iceland for an undecided time, the Financial Times states today. Ólafur Ísleifsson, lecturer at the University of Reyjavík, says that it is obvious that there are some serious kinks in the procedure.

Financial Times repeats from one of the presidents of Fitch Ratings that Iceland is now stuck in mid air. The country obviously needs a new regulatory environment around the finance and currency matters but need the help from the fund to be able to do so. The suspension comes at the same time as it is clear that the Icelandic government has not got the promise for the amount that is needed to meet the plans of the money needs of Iceland.

The paper repeats after a representative from the Icelandic government that the Icelandic nation urgently needs 500 million dollars. There has not been any resolutions in the disputes about the Icesave accounts, from Landsbankinn, between Iceland and the Netherlands and England and that also seems to be slowing down the procedure of loan from the fund.

There is growing rage in Germany as well amongst the clients of Kaupþing Edge, who are worried that they have lost all their money. It is expected that there are around 30 thousand individuals who are hurting from this and they are now demanding actions towards Icelanders.

Ólafur Ísleifsson, lecturer at the University of Reykjavík, says that it is obvious that serious kinks in the matters of the Icelandic application for assistance from the IMF. He says it is very important to brief the people of Iceland better about the situation.

News Article by noname
Original Article in Icelandic

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Dutch people want to know where their money is

Filed under: economy,Uncategorized — newsfrettir @ 1:28 pm
Tags: , , ,

A group of Dutch persons, who lost their savings when the Icesave accounts were closed abroad, are here to meet with the representatives of Landsbankinn today. It has also been planned that they meet with politicians here.

The group came to Iceland yesterday afternoon and they want answers to their questions about the destiny of the money they deposited to their Icesave accounts in the Netherlands. The group had a meeting with a representative from the Ministry of Foreign affairs who has been their contact to institutions and individuals here in Iceland.

The plan is to meet a representative from Landsbankinn sometime after noon. The spokesperson of the group said in a conversation with the newsroom this morning that it seemed like no one has a comprehensive overview of what happened and is happening in the economics of the nation.

People are very concerned about the matters of the country and do not seem like they are looking at matters in a wider perspective. A news team from The Netherlands is following the team and will be reporting about what is happening.

News Article by noname
Original Article in Icelandic

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No reasons given for the suspension

Photo - Reuters
As it is stated in the news article of Financial Times, about the suspension of the processing of a loan from IMF to Iceland, that there is still 500 million dollars needed so that Iceland can finance the rescue pack that is required according to the loan application. Then the English administrators deny it completely that they have stopped the processing of the loan. It is stated in the news article that no public explanation as been given about the suspension of the process of the loan and that Grdon Brown, prime minister of England, declared his support to the loan yesterday to Iceland.

On the other hand Icelanders suspect that the suspension is connected to the dispute between Iceland and England regarding the IceSave accounts. It is quoted from Össur Skarphéðinsson, industrial minister and foreign affairs minister, that he spoke to the representatives for the English administration and they said that there had to be resolutions to other issues at hand before they could support the loan. “I was not having any doubts what they were talking about,” said Össur.

Also in the article is a quote from Wouter Bos, finance minister of the Netherlands, from a television interview but there he said that the Netherlands would protest the loan from IMF to Iceland if there was not any solution in the Icesave case. “Thank goodness that we have as strong allies as England and Germans that have same sort of disputes with Iceland,” he says.

News Article by noname
Original Article in Iceland

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November 11, 2008

Stoltenberg spoke about Iceland with Brown

Gordon Brown and Jens Stoltenberg outside Downing street 10 today.
Jens Stoltenberg, prime minister of Norway, spoke about the concerns of Iceland with Gordon Brown, prime minister of England, at their meeting in Downing street London tonight. Stoltenberg said that it could have very serious results for Iceland if the action plan of the IMF is not approved by the board soon.

“I said to him, that i hope it will be a possibility to come to an agreement and find a solution,” the Norwegian newsroom NTB quotes Stoltenberg.

He says there is no secret that there is going to be a rescue plan released because of Iceland but it is assumed that the IMF will loan Iceland 2.1 billion dollars, and other nations 4 billion dollars.

“If this will not go through the situation will be very serious. The plan should have been approved already,” says Stoltenberg.

It has been stated that English and the Netherlands and possibly Germans want that the IMF does not process the Icelandic case until other issues have been resolved about possible responsibility of the Icelandic government towards the bank account balances in the Icelandic banks overseas.

(News Article by noname)
Original Article in Icelandic

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