PM: British to blame for Iceland bank collapse

Image from MBLDuring a meeting with the Icelandic Independence party this morning, PM Geir H. Haarde didn’t mince words about the British authorities. According to him, the British authorities had brought Iceland’s largest bank to its knees with their abuse of power this last week and that Iceland must look seriously into the possibility of litigation, MBL reported.

Haarde said that a government should naturally defend the rights of its subjects, but the statements of the British had been quite unwarranted.

“I won’t try to hide my surprise and disappointment when it became clear that the British government enforced the laws on defence against terrorism against Icelandic companies in the UK. Laws that were indeed very controversial when they were passed because of the inherent possibility of being abused in alternative situations, not involving terrorism at all. Perhaps we have now witnessed how that controversy was warranted.”

“These measures, along with the statements of the British PM, with whom I have by the way had very friendly relations, coupled with his statements about the defaulting and possible national bankruptcy of Iceland, can in fact be interpreted as an assault against the interests of the Icelandic nation, bearing in mind the difference in size and power between these two nations,” said Haarde.

He added that despite the fact that the British government had acted on the assumption of right against the Icelandic government over collateral and settlement of some bank accounts, the initiative of the British ministers had been completely out of proportion with the issues.

“We neither can, nor will (Icelanders), accept being cast as terrorists by the British government. When I asked the British Minister of Finance, in our conversation if they were serious about the title they were giving us, he denied it. But acting in this fashion against a smaller nation of friends in times of trouble is neither proper nor ethical,” said Haarde.

He continued that following clear and unambiguous Icelandic complaints, the British authorities had backed somewhat away from their position and that there were efforts towards normalising relations between the countries.

“However the fact remains that the British authorities may have caused immense damage with their brutish behaviour. Among other things, they may have brought down Iceland’s largest company with their abuse of power this week. We must look in all seriousness into the possibility of litigation because of these deeds,” said PM Haarde.

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