Icesave deal has deadline

A clause in the new Icesave deal between Iceland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom states that Iceland must approve the contract and make it legally binding before the New Year, or risk the other two countries backing out.

The new Icesave contract was compiled by negotiators from the three countries and confirmed in London on Thursday. The contract will, however, not be formally signed by any of the countries until the Icelandic Althingi parliament votes to allow the Minister of Finance to sign on Iceland’s behalf. That decision, like all acts of parliament, would then need to be signed off by the President.

A draft of the Icesave parliamentary bill has already been written and will be distributed among MPs this week.

According to, the Icesave contract states that Britain and the Netherlands are permitted to cancel the deal outright if Iceland has not approved the contract and made it legally binding by the 31st December this year. This means that Althingi must have passed the bill and it must have been approved by President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson. If the President decides to block the bill and send it to a public referendum, as he did last time, then the 31st December deadline would certainly be missed.

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