The French economist and MEP Alain Lipietz, who claimed on Sunday on Icelandic television that European rules do not indicate that Iceland is responsible for the Icesave debt in the Netherlands and UK, has rejected Icelandic government claims that he has misunderstood elements of the law.
He told the Silfur Egils television programme that the Passport Rules do not call for a home country to cover the deposits of its banks in a host country. The Icelandic government countered that he was probably referring to the fact that Iceland is not an EU member; but pointed out that as an EEA member, the country’s responsibilities are exactly the same and do call for repayment.
Lipietz’s words have grabbed headlines in Iceland, as he said that European law on depositors’ guarantee funds shows that the British and Dutch were required to regulate Landsbanki (Icesave) in their jurisdictions. The Icelandic government’s assertion yesterday that he was in fact wrong on this point, and was mistakenly assuming Icesave was a daughter company of Landsbanki and not a branch, was quickly rejected by the French MEP who said he stands by what he said.