The Referendum on saturday April 9 2011

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Ísland - Þjóðaratkvæðagreiðslan 9. apríl 2011
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This website is intended to explain some of the main points regarding the referendum on the ‘Icesave Agreements’, which is to be held on 9 April 2011, the reason why it is being held and the possible implications. The text has been prepared by an independent and impartial body, the Institute of Law at the University of Iceland, in accordance with a resolution passed by the Icelandic Parliament Althingi.

The referendum will be a vote on the validity of Act No. 13/2011, which was passed by Althingi on 16 February 2011 and the President of Iceland refused to sign into law on 20 February. The Act authorises the Minister of Finance, on behalf of the State Treasury, to approve agreements (the ‘Icesave Agreements’) which were initialled in London on 8 December 2010. These agreements cover the Icelandic State’s guarantee of repayments by the Depositors’ and Investors’ Guarantee Fund of Iceland (hereinafter named ‘the Guarantee Fund’) to the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of the Netherlands. These repayments are in respect of costs incurred by the two states when they paid deposit guarantees to the customers of Landsbanki Íslands hf. in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. The guarantee given by the Icelandic State is in respect of the payment of any possible outstanding balance of the amount to be paid back, and interest on that obligation.

The aim of the referendum is to reveal the position of the Icelandic people regarding the act, as is provided for in the Constitution. The question on the ballot paper in the referendum will be whether this act is to continue in force or become void. The issue will be decided by a majority of the votes cast nationwide, all votes carrying the same weight. If the majority is in favour, the act will remain in force. If the majority is against, the act will become void.

Links to websites (in Icelandic) reflecting various positions on the matter and offering a forum for discussion can also be found here.