Events in Iceland’s parliament will be closely followed in the UK and the Netherlands today.
Why? Because deputies are expected to back plans to repay the two countries billions lost in Icelandic deposit accounts last year. The government-sponsored bill has divided the small North Atlantic island. But its approval is seen as key if crisis-hit Iceland hopes to receive further aid from the IMF. Dutch and British savers who placed money in “Icesave” lost billions. The high-interest online accounts were run by Landsbanki, a leading commercial Icelandic bank, taken over by the government as it collapsed. UK and Dutch authorities eventually covered money lost in the accounts but have demanded repayment, which has stoked protests in Iceland. Already hit hard by the global economic downturn, many Icelanders say they are now being punished for mistakes they did not make.