Dutch "disappointed" at Iceland vote

10th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

The Netherlands expressed disappointment Sunday at Icelandic voters' rejection of a deal to compensate it for the 2008 collapse of Icesave bank, saying the matter was now "in the hands of justice".

Dutch Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager was "very disappointed" by the outcome of Saturday's Icelandic referendum on repaying the Netherlands and Britain 3.9 billion euros ($5.6 billion)

"It is not good for Iceland, nor for the Netherlands," the finance ministry quoted de Jager as saying, adding that "the time for negotiations is over" and "the matter is now in the hands of justice".

The Netherlands was now waiting for the case to be brought before the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) court, which plays the role of the European Court of Justice for European Economic Area members Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, said the ministry.

Britain and the Netherlands spent 3.9 billion euros ($5.6 billion) compensating 340,000 of their citizens who lost money when Icesave, an online bank, went under at the height of the global financial crisis.

About 230,000 Icelandic voters gave a resounding "no" in a referendum Saturday on repaying the money.

Reykjavic insisted on Sunday that it had "no problem" to repay its debts.

© 2011 AFP

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