Iceland says "no problem" in repaying debts

10th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

Iceland said Sunday it has "no problem" in repaying its debts a day after voters voted overwhelmingly to reject a renegotiated deal to compensate Britain and The Netherlands over the 2008 collapse of Icesave bank.

"The Icelandic state has absolutely no problem in repaying its debts," Finance Minister Steingrimur Sigfusson told a press conference.

"Iceland's reserves are more than enough to cover all the payments in the coming years," he added.

With 70 percent of the vote counted, the "no" vote in Saturday's referendum was 57.7 percent against 42.3 percent "yes", a result that embarrasses the Reykjavik government.

Around 230,000 voters were asked to decide on the proposal to pay back Britain and the Netherlands 3.9 billion euros ($5.6 billion) they had spent on compensating 340,000 of their citizens who lost money when Icesave, an online bank, went under at the height of the global financial crisis.

© 2011 AFP

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