Voting ends in Icelandic referendum on bank repayment deal

10th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

Voting has ended in Iceland's referendum on whether to approve or reject a renegotiated deal to compensate Britain and The Netherlands over the 2008 collapse of Icesave bank.

Polling stations closed at 10:00 pm (2200 GMT) and the first figures were due to be released an hour later, as counting got under way, said local officials.

The last polls suggested that the "no" vote would prevail 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.

The latest deal, laboriously negotiated among the three nations over more than two years, is considered more favourable to Iceland than a previous accord rejected in a January 2010 referendum by 93 percent of Icelanders.

It will allow Iceland to repay the debt gradually until 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 remainder owed to Britain.

The amount works out to some 12,000 euros per citizen of the 320,000-strong island nation, before interest.

© 2011 AFP

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