New Icesave talks taking place in Netherlands: officials

2nd September 2010, Comments 0 comments

Dutch, Irish and British representatives started new talks in the Netherlands Thursday about a repayment deal for losses arising from the collapse of Iceland's Icesave bank, officials said.

"Discussions to find a solution to the Icesave issue" would be held Thursday and Friday, Dutch finance ministry spokesman Niels Redeker told AFP.

"We expect that Iceland will reimburse the loan, plus reasonable interest," he said, adding: "Iceland has a legal obligation to do so."

The Icelandic and British finance ministries confirmed that talks were taking place but declined to elaborate.

Officials from the three countries last met in Reykjavik at the beginning of July.

Britain, the Netherlands and Iceland held intense discussions leading up to a March 6 referendum on a deal for Iceland to repay Britain and the Netherlands 3.9 billion euros (4.9 billion dollars) to compensate for money they paid to 340,000 of their citizens hit by the collapse of the online Icesave bank in October 2008.

However, after more than 93 percent of Icelandic voters rejected the deal to repay the money by 2024 at what was widely considered a high interest rate of 5.5 percent, the talks stalled and speculation has been rife over when they would resume.

The dispute is considered one of the main sticking points as Iceland begins negotiations to join the EU.

© 2010 AFP

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