New Icesave talks underway: Iceland

8th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

Icelandic, British and Dutch officials were holding new talks in Britain about a repayment deal for losses arising from the collapse of Iceland's Icesave bank, Iceland's finance ministry said Wednesday.

"The Icelandic negotiation committee on Icesave is meeting representatives of the British and the Dutch governments today in London in order to continue talks on a possible resolution," the ministry said in a statement Wednesday.

Officials from the three countries last held talks in the Netherlands in September.

Last month, the Icelandic finance ministry said an agreement between the three parties had yet to be finalised, but that there was "an ongoing positive dialogue about the issue and progress has been made."

"A final resolution of the matter will hopefully emerge within a few weeks," the ministry said in a November 16 statement.

Britain, the Netherlands and Iceland held intense discussions leading up to a March 6 referendum on a deal for Iceland to repay Britain and the Netherlands 3.9 billion euros (4.9 billion dollars) to compensate for money they paid to 340,000 of their citizens hit by the collapse of the online Icesave bank in October 2008.

However, after more than 93 percent of Icelandic voters rejected the deal to repay the money by 2024 at what was widely considered a high interest rate of 5.5 percent, the talks stalled and speculation has been rife over when they would resume.

The dispute is considered one of the main sticking points as Iceland begins negotiations to join the EU.

© 2010 AFP

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