It’s official – Iceland has said no. The referendum result is a resounding rejection of the proposed payment plan. Of votes counted so far, less than two per cent of people are in favour of the terms to repay Britain and the Netherlands. It is not surprising. Both countries recently offered Iceland a better deal than the one struck last year.
Iceland’s Finance Minister, Steingrimur Sigfusson, said: “Obviously this is a very clear message from the Icelandic voters. We will go on and see how successful we are in reaching a solution. Because after all, let’s not forget, all three countries need to solve this in an acceptable manner. So that’s still the job we have to do, to find that solution and the referendum does not change that.”
Under the rejected deal, paying the 3.9 billion euros in compensation to Britain and the Netherlands by 2024 would have cost taxpayers 100 euros a month each.
This debt is the legacy of the failure of Icesave bank accounts in 2008. Iceland’s ailing economy needs IMF financial aid, but it is believed this will not come until a new repayment deal is agreed.