Joint Nordic statement on Iceland loans next week

nordicDenmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden will release a joint statement next week about the future of their economic aid programmes with Iceland, following President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson’s decision to send the so-called Icesave Bill to a public vote.

Further Nordic loans to Iceland have never been dependent on a resolution of Iceland’s Icesave spat with the Netherlands and the UK on paper; but in reality, leaders in each country have said that they are.

Icelandic Finance Minister, Steingrimur J. Sigfusson has spoken to his counterparts from all four countries over the last two days, making personal trips to Oslo and Copenhagen as well as phone calls to Stockholm and Helsinki.

The Minister’s effort already appears to be bearing fruit, with Bloomberg reporting an emerging consensus that the Nordic countries will live up to their commitments amid growing confidence that Iceland will live up to its.

“Norway stands by its commitments to Iceland,” Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store said in Oslo today. “It is Norway’s stance that the Nordic region should push for a continuation of the program within the International Monetary Fund.”

“What is essential is that Iceland’s government stands by its commitments, and we believe that they will,” he added. “Then we should make it clear to the other IMF partners that it would be extremely damaging for Iceland if we start to shake this foundation.”

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