With 83,478 votes counted following Saturday’s referendum in Iceland, 78,092 are votes to reject December’s Icesave law and 1,284 (1.5 percent) have voted to keep the law in force. 2,830 empty ballots were cast in protest.
The first results have now been released from every voting district and the second set of figures have already been released in the South and Southwest districts.
The massive ‘no’ vote is a clear signal of public anger; but also of the fact that the December deal is worse for Iceland than one offered by the British and Dutch since, but rejected by Reykjavik. The referendum went ahead because the President refused to ratify December’s law. As subsequent offers have not been passed by parliament and rejected by the President, there was no way for the public to vote on them. This weekend’s referendum is the first such vote since Iceland gained independence in 1944.
With the December law now out of force, a previous repayment offer approved by parliament and the President last summer has now become law again. However, this has little practical meaning as the British and Dutch governments did not accept the offer at the time and are unlikely to now.
Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir said following the referendum that negotiations will likely restart next week with all three nations as committed as ever to finding a fair solution to the repayment of money lost in the failed Icesave savings accounts.