IceSave customers consoled by Iceland PM: agreeable solution sought

Geir HaardeThe Prime Minister of Iceland, Geir H. Haarde, has just concluded a press conference in which he said that the government remains intent on working out a “mutually agreeable” solution to the issue of compensating savers with Icesave accounts in the UK.

The PM said he and his government will do all they can to retain close and friendly relations with Iceland’s close ally, the United Kingdom.

The British government has promised to reimburse all Icesave customers’ savings in full regardless of if the Icelandic government reneges on its responsibility to insure the first EUR 20,000. The damage that would do to Iceland’s international reputation could be considerable however, and the PM has reiterated his desire not to go down that route.

On the subject of the potential Russian loan, the PM said meetings will take place in Moscow on Tuesday to arrange the loan to stabilise the Icelandic economy.

Any problems that have been occurring with regard to payments into and out of Iceland (especially to the UK) will be eradicated by the morning and were “mostly of a technical nature”, the PM said.

Haarde explained that the crisis hitting the Icelandic banks is not unusual in today’s economic climate, but that what is unusual is that the potential failure of three banks would effectively destroy a whole country’s banking sector.

The state’s tough bank measures and swift emergency management are, he said, intended to save the banks – a goal which must be achieved for the sake of all of Iceland.

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