Comments:Iceland voters reject deal to repay billions to UK, Dutch

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Why on earth should Iceland ever want to join the EU? Geographically, they are not even in Europe, but mid-Atlantic.

Politically, they have nothing in common with the Franco-German axis and all its hangers-on.

Independence, being able to stand on one's own feet is a virtue, and Icelanders are fine people and have that ability in spades.

However, independence, sovereignty, is hard won, and even harder to regain once lost. The only beneficiaries of EU membership will be Iceland's politicians, then able to join the EU gravy train getting their greedy snouts in the EU trough.

The losers will be the Icelandic people. If they should ever feel the need to merge with a larger entity, their interests would be better served by membership of a North American bloc of Canada and the US.

Pity is that the UK didn't adopt that option. Bringing Home [to the UK] the [American] Revolution would do democracy in the UK a power of good.

Brian Burnell Southampton 11 April 2011

The Icelanders weren't actually voting on a repayment plan, that seems to be a misunderstanding with every news on the subject. What the referendum was about is a state guarantee on the Depositor's Insurance Fund (DIF) which will be paying the Dutch and British back. It's using the profits of sales from the now bankrupt Landsbanki in that regard. So they'll get payed, but it's the interest loans used and costs of paying out immediately to the depositors that the state guarantee is supposed to cover and that is a considerable smaller amount than the billions reported.

Ásgeir Jóhannsson Akureyri 13 April 2011

Reply to Ásgeir Jóhannsson

I admit it is confusing. According the BBC source the second deal was better:

Under the terms of the rejected deal, Iceland would have paid the money back with 3.3% interest to the UK, and 3% to the Netherlands, over 30 years between 2016 and 2046.

Under the previous proposal, the money was to be paid back with 5.5% interest between 2016 and 2024.[1]

If Iceland has access to the profits of the sales from the now bankrupt Landsbanki, then Iceland can use that money towards paying off that debt, it seems to me. Mattisse (talk) 15:16, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

Back to Basic Principles[edit]

Whatever the details of interest etc, these were depositors in a privately-owned bank. It failed and they lost their money. End of. The Icelandic government and people have neither a legal or moral obligation to repay a private company's debts. Especially to depositors who took a risk with a bank that was offering exceptionally good returns on deposits. If a deal looks too good to be true, then it usually is. Greedy depositors took that risk of their own choice. No one forced them.

The UK (and the Dutch) have legislated to provide reimbursement to private individuals who lose their money (up to a limit) in a failed bank. That's their domestic law, and their business.

Their is no obligation, legal or moral, for the Icelandic government and people to stump up compensation to any foreign government that has chosen to legislate in this way.

Once again it's a case of the banking industry playing silly and greedy games, gambling with depositors money. It's akin to betting on a horse race, or playing poker. If the dice falls in their favour, the bankers get rich. But if the dice rolls the other way, then it's not ever the bankers fault, they expect government to bail them out. Except governments have no money of their own, only money raised in taxes on their people, or borrowed money repaid by their people from yet more taxes.

The Icelandic people have done the right thing in saying NO, and NO again.

I only wish the British people had the balls to also say NO.

Brian Burnell. Southampton.

I'm sorry, Brian, but you're wrong. There is a legal obligation upon Iceland to repay this debt to the British and Dutch Governments. As you will see from the article, the International Monetary Fund loaned Iceland $2.1 Billion, with the strict proviso included, that they MUST repay the UK and Dutch. In the event that they don't, the IMF can legally withdraw that loan, or enforce it by way of legal action. As it is, the British and Dutch governments have already made arrangements to sue the hell out of Iceland, and frankly I don't blame them. Both goverments repaid their depositors on the provision that they would be compensated by Iceland for these payments. As it stands at the moment, all hell is going to break loose, and my birthplace is going to be on the receiving end of it. BarkingFish (talk) 00:31, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

I accede to your superior knowledge regarding the IMF. However, this Both goverments repaid their depositors on the provision that they would be compensated by Iceland for these payments is simply not true of the British (can't speak for the Dutch). UK domestic law provides for private depositors in any failed bank (UK or foreign) to be compensated (up to a limit, believed to be £39k per account holder). That is UK law that any UK govt has to abide by. We have courts to ensure that they comply. So any assertion that they complied with domestic law on a promise by the (then) Icelandic government to repay the UK is simply untrue. In the UK that's known as spin, as in spinning a line, aka a lie. Furthermore, the Icelandic government fell, and an election ejected them from office.
It is a well-established convention in the UK and many other nations, that no government is bound by the actions of its predecessors. In saying NO, the Icelanders did the right thing. Large nations always bully smaller and weaker neighbours if they can get away with it. The UK has played that game too often for it not to go unnoticed now.
No government or people can be held legally or morally responsible for a failed private business, whether it be a bank or your local jobbing builder. The banks are greedy and corrupt. They rolled the dice and lost. Then they pulled off the audacious trick of persuading governments that their governments should bail them out. Except that the Icelandic people had the good sense to see beyond the hype and say NO!
Wonderful people. Were that there were more like them and the Irish.
Furthermore, ref the IMO loan. There is no reason why Iceland should not default on the IMO loan. Like all other unfair contract terms it can be ruled unlawful by a court. Courts in the UK routinely rule unfair contract terms unlawful, preventing stronger parties imposing unfair terms on others. Iceland could (and maybe should) challenge the unfair IMO terms in an International Court at the Hague. If such legislation is considered permissible in domestic law, there is no moral justification for not permitting it in international law.
Brian Burnell. Southampton.
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