This just in from the guv’ment press office:
Today, following 10 weeks of debate, Iceland’s Parliament, the Althing passed legislation authorising a state guarantee for the loans granted by the Governments of the United Kingdom and the Netherlands to the Depositors’ and Investors’ Guarantee Fund of Iceland.
According to the legislation, the state guarantee will be subject to certain criteria and preconditions. These are aimed at ensuring debt sustainability and allowing Iceland to restore its financial system and its economy while at the same time honouring Iceland´s international obligations.
Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir welcomed the Althing’s decision:
“This is one of the largest financial and economic issues ever faced by Iceland and it has greatly preoccupied the Althing and the people since the collapse of the banking system last Autumn. The guarantee of the combined loans from the United Kingdom and the Netherlands constitutes the single largest financial commitment ever undertaken by the Government of Iceland. Therefore, as I am sure that every parliamentarian will appreciate, the Icelandic parliament has a solemn duty to ensure an economically sustainable future for the country. This has been its goal. Its conclusion of the matter aims towards securing the recovery of Iceland´s financial system and economy. This is for the mutual benefit of both lender and borrower.”
The Prime Minister also praised the tireless efforts by Parliamentarians in the Althing to reach as broad a consensus as possible and stressed the importance of political unity in difficult times.
Following the outcome of the parliamentary process, the Government of Iceland will now consult with the Governments of the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
Prime Minister Sigurdardottir said that her Government was hopeful that the Icesave issue would now be concluded in a mutually satisfactory manner.
This went pretty much as expected, then. I don’t have much more to say about it than I’ve already said, i.e. the fact that we, the regular citizens of this land, have to pony up for Icesave sucks bigtime, but with the above-cited preconditions at least there is some understanding of the fact that you can’t get blood from a stone.
I have to say though that I rather chuckled at the “tireless efforts by Parliamentarians in the Althing to reach as broad a consensus as possible” remark. Here is an example of the aforementioned “tireless efforts”, recorded in the evening of Thursday, August 22, when the Icesave debate dragged on and on. As it happens, the “tireless efforts” of MP Sigmundur Ernir Rúnarsson included going out for a drink [or ten] and then returning to Althingi for the debate.
Particularly noteworthy in this regard are minutes 4.00-4.30 and 8.50-9.20.
This has the jokers referring to Althingi as “Ölthingi” – which translates rather nicely as “Alethingi”. The right honourable MP Sigmundur Ernir initially vehemently denied all allegations that he had been under the influence — but later admitted that he’d had “wine with dinner” and had made an error in judgment in returning to work. Er, yeah. *HIC*
IT’S A BEAUTIFUL PRE-AUTUMN DAY
As forecast, the rain has let up and we’ve got cooler weather with sunshine. It’s a little windy, so I suspect it’s also a little chilly. 11°C [52F] at the moment. Sunrise was at 5.57, sunset due for 8.58 pm.