Johanna Sigurdardottir, Iceland’s Prime Minister said at a press conference yesterday that it has barely occurred to her that parliament might vote against accepting the deal on Icesave repayment agreed with the Netherlands and the UK. Opposition MPs said meanwhile, that the declassification of confidential documents has done nothing to change their opinion.
Yesterday’s press conference was held by the Prime Minister along with Finance Minister Steingrimur J. Sigfusson and Gylfi Magnusson, the Minister for Business Affairs. The ministers used the opportunity to reveal that 68 confidential documents were being made public and a further 24 were being made available only to MPs, Frettabladid reports.
Sigurdardottir said that Iceland has only one chance to clear up the Icesave issue finally. Sigfusson added that he would be extremely worried in the event the deal was voted down in parliament. “It is not at all certain that people would be willing to start again at the beginning,” he said.
The business minister said that it is “absurd” to assume that the nation could simply refuse to live up to its responsibility with regard to Icesave.
The leader of the Independence Party, Bjarni Benediktsson said that the bill is an attempt by the government to rationalise the unsatisfactory contract result from intergovernmental negotiations, as well as being an attempt to shirk responsibility. He said the loan agreement reads more like a typical loan and not one made between nations.
Birgitta Jonsdottir from the Citizens’ Movement said that her opposition to the bill has only hardened and that the best option would be to renegotiate the loan agreement with the Netherlands and the UK.
“It is just unacceptable and very dangerous for the state to take on this sort of debt responsibility,” said Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, head of the Progressive Party.
The bill was presented to the parliamentary groups of the two coalition parties over the weekend where a few changes were made before it went to Cabinet on Monday. The bill will be discussed in open parliament tomorrow.
The Prime Minister said she believes no ‘Plan B’ is necessary because the bill will surely not fail in parliament.