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Icelanders Reject European Debt Repayment by 90%

This vote is much more than just a "No," it is "Hell No!"

Icelanders reject plan to repay £3.5bn to Britain and Netherlands
Icelanders have rejected plans to repay £3.5 billion owed to Britain and the Netherlands following the failure of the internet bank Icesave.
By Richard Tyler and David Harrison
Published: 11:17PM GMT 06 Mar 2010

The government of Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir government admitted defeat after it became clear last night that more than 90 per cent of the volcanic island’s voters had supported calls by their president for a "fair deal" in a national referendum on the issue.

Iceland’s parliament had originally agreed to pay back Britain over 14 years but President Olafur Grimsson refused to approve it and called the referendum.

Mr Grimsson said yesterday that Gordon Brown now had to resolve the dispute between the two countries, which has revived bitter memories of the 1970s cod wars.

Icelanders have gone to the polls to vote on paying the UK and Netherlands after the collapse of the Icesave bank, with a resounding "No" vote expected.

The British and Dutch governments want reimbursement for the £3.4bn they paid out in compensation to customers in 2008.

But Iceland’s prime minister had urged people to shun the referendum.

Talks between Iceland, the UK and the Netherlands three countries broke down on Friday without agreement.



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