Icesave talks never completely stopped

steingrimur1Dutch and British negotiators have been unavailable for talks to resolve the Icesave dispute with Iceland because of elections in both countries; but high-level communication has not stopped altogether, says Icelandic Minister of Finance, Steingrimur J. Sigfusson.

“The situation is that there is communication between public officials and the ties have not been cut,” Sigfusson told Visir.is, adding that it has proven extremely difficult to start official negotiations again.

The new British Conservative/Liberal Democrat government will hopefully signal a change of emphasis and a return to negotiations, the Icelandic government hopes.

Leader of Iceland’s Progressive Party, Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, told Visir.is that the Liberal Democrats seem to have a much better understanding of Iceland’s situation than the old Labour government did. His party held talks with the Lib Dems last year.

Steingrimur J. Sigfusson said that getting the British and Dutch back to the table together has been a struggle; but given the EFTA’s recent report on Icesave, he is hopeful that the three nations can restart talks. It remains in everybody’s interest to find a fair solution to the issue as quickly as possible.