Majority of Icelanders agree with Icesave deal: poll

25th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

Most Icelanders want parliament to adopt a new deal reached with London and The Hague to repay money lost in the collapse of the Icesave bank, a poll published Tuesday showed.

According to the survey, conducted and published by the daily Frettabladid, 56.4 percent of Icelanders want the country to approve the 4.0-billion-euro (5.4-billion-dollar) deal, while 43.6 percent hope it will be rejected.

The new deal, reached with British and Dutch negotiators last month, is currently being examined by Icelandic parliamentarians but no date has been set for a vote on the issue.

Even if Icelandic parliamentarians approve the deal, it would still need to get the green light from President Olafur Grimsson, who early last year vetoed the previous deal and put it to a popular vote.

At the referendum, 93.2 percent of Icelanders rejected the deal.

A poll published earlier this month showed 47 percent of those questioned thought the Icelandic parliament should approve the new accord, with 35 percent against.

According to the poll published Tuesday, for which 800 people were questioned, the ratio of those in favour of the new deal rises to 59 percent among respondents aged under 50.

The new accord stipulates that Reykjavik repay in full the 3.9 billion euros (4.9 billion dollars) which Britain and the Netherlands spent compensating around 340,000 of their citizens hit by Icesave's collapse in October 2008.

Under the deal, Iceland would be able to repay the money very gradually between 2016 and 2046 at a 3.0-percent interest rate for the 1.3 billion euros it owes The Netherlands and at a 3.3-percent rate for the rest it owes Britain.

In the previous deal rejected at the referendum, Iceland had to repay The Netherlands and Britain between 2016 and 2024 at a 5.5 percent interest rate.

© 2011 AFP

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