Iceland to begin Icesave repayments in summer: PM

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Iceland will start compensating Britain and The Netherlands this summer for their losses from the failed Icesave bank, Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir said Thursday.

"Payments ... will start this summer," Sigurdardottir said in comments published in the Dutch De Volkskrant daily newspaper.

"These payments will largely give The Netherlands and Britain the means to cover the compensation given by the authorities to savers in their countries," she added.

Reykjavik insisted Sunday that it has "no problem" repaying its debts as litigation loomed after Icelandic voters rejected a deal to reimburse The Netherlands and Britain for the collapse of Icesave bank.

"Iceland's reserves are more than enough to cover all the payments in the coming years," Finance Minister Steingrimur Sigfusson said then.

Nearly 60 percent of voters in a referendum on Sunday rejected a government- and parliament-backed plan to refund 3.9 billion euros ($5.6 billion) to Britain and The Netherlands for money they spent on compensating 340,000 of their citizens who lost money on Icesave.

Icesave, an online bank, went under at the height of the global financial crisis in 2008.

© 2011 AFP

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