Hundreds of Belgian savers marched in Brussels on Saturday, representing tens of thousands of their compatriots who have put their money in the Luxembourg branch of Iceland’s troubled Kaupthing bank.
Their accounts have been frozen for the past five weeks and people are angry. “You should know we have 50,000 euros in our savings account. The European law guarantees 100,000 and logically that should apply. But now Luxembourg says when the agreement was made that law didn’t apply there, so today they can only guarantee up to 20,000,” said one man.
Savers are asking the three governments to get together and solve the problem. “I wanted to buy a house and now I can’t do anything. My money is simply stuck and I feel cheated and robbed by Iceland, Luxembourg, and Belgium,” said another saver.
Iceland’s bid to build a new financial and retail empire abroad with borrowed money has led to near-national bankruptcy with the fall in world markets, and it has asked for IMF aid to stave off economic disaster.