Ambassadors briefed on Icesave deal

icesave2009-012All foreign ambassadors in Iceland will be informed in detail about the current state of the Icesave bill today. European Union representatives in Brussels will be updated with the same information at the same time.

Icelandic Foreign Minister, Ossur Skarphedinsson, said yesterday that the government has been in regular contact with the British and Dutch authorities this weekend and has been updating them both on the changes being made to the bill and the progress of the negotiations on a daily basis since Friday. “We have gone over the issues in close detail with them and they have been provided with a very clear translation of the new bill,” he said to mbl.is. He added that the British and Dutch have also been informed that the bill still has its second and third debates in parliament to go and that its progress is therefore now in the hands of parliament.

The bill could see further changes as it goes through parliament, according to Skarphedinsson, but he added that the two governments have also been informed of that.

The Foreign Minister said that it is important to keep the European Union updated on the issue as well, and especially the French and the Germans, who will all be updated today. The minister would not be drawn on the initial British and Dutch reaction to the new bill, saying that their attitudes could yet change the further they study the issue. He added that he is personally confident that the changes made still fit within the frame of the original agreement, but that there is no way of being sure what the final outcome will be yet.

Steingrimur J. Sigfusson, Minister of Finance stressed that the British and Dutch authorities will continue to be regularly briefed. “I hope that they will understand,” he said. The minister also said in an unrelated speech yesterday that those responsible for the banking crisis should come out publicly and apologise for what they have done to the Icelandic nation, according to RUV.

Gudbjartur Hannesson, the Social Democrat MP who heads the parliamentary finance committee, said that there is still plenty of work to do.

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