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Iceland to hold referendum on Icesave deal April

02-26-2011 09:53 BJT

STOCKHOLM, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- Iceland will hold a referendum in April on a new deal to compensate Britain and the Netherlands over the collapse of an Icelandic bank, according to a report reaching here from Reykjavik on Friday.

"The interior minister informed the cabinet this morning that he had decided the referendum will be held on April 9," the Icelandic government was quoted as saying in a statement.

The governments of Iceland, Britain and the Netherlands reached a new agreement on Dec. 10 in which Iceland will repay the two countries about 5 billion U.S. dollars due to the 2008 collapse of the on-line bank Icesave.

Under the deal, a 5.5-percent interest rate agreed to previously was reduced to 3 percent for the Dutch and to 3.3 percent for the British.

The Icesave deal was approved in the Icelandic parliament last week and becomes effective once President Olafur Grimsson signs it.

Grimsson, however, has refused to sign the deal and instead decided to send the measure to a national referendum on Sunday.

The president also refused to sign the initial agreement due to public opposition. The president's refusal resulted in a national referendum that voted down the bill in March 2010. Enditem

A latest survey released on Friday showed that 61 percent of respondents said they intend to vote in favor of the new Icesave legislation in the upcoming national referendum while 39 percent of respondents intend to vote against it.


Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

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