The Netherlands and Britain are blocking a €2.1bn loan from the International Monetary Fund to Iceland pending agreement on compensation for Dutch and British savers, the NRC reports on Friday.
The paper says Icelandic MPs were told at a meeting in Brussels that the loan would not be approved until the financial aspects of compensating hundreds of thousands of savers has been worked out.
Sources at the Dutch finance ministry have confirmed the veto off the record but refuse to comment officially. Nor would British officials comment, the paper says.
Yesterday, Iceland’s prime minister Geir Haarde said that the IMF loan and the repayment agreement were ‘two separate issues which should not be linked,’ the paper said.
Dutch savers have some €1.6bn on deposit at Icesave which they cannot access.
Meanwhile, the conflict between the government, the province of Noord-Holland and 22 local councils over their claims against Iceland escalated on Friday. In total, local governments have some €400m in Icesave.
Finance mnister Wouter Bos and the queen’s commissioner in Noord-Holland have been embroiled in a public spat over the province’s determination to go it alone in trying to recover its money.
On Friday home affairs minister Guusje ter Horst said the government had used a royal decree to annul local government claims to Landsbanki property abroad. ‘Their behaviour is hindering the difficult and complex discussions with the Icelandic government,’ she said.
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