Islândia, a revolta

A saga continua.

No dia em que a "troika" de Comissão Europeia, Banco Central Europeu e FMI entra em Portugal, os islandeses dão o exemplo, povo valente!

Num segundo referendo no fim-de-semana passado rejeitaram de novo (ver post 9 de Abril) um "acordo" Icesave, desta vez proposto pelo Governo.

"April 10, 2011 02.20GMT

REYKJAVIK — Icelandic voters on Saturday rejected a government bill on the so-called Icesave claim in a national referendum. When a majority of the votes had been counted, 57.2% of the voters in this small island nation in the Northern Atlantic had vetoed the hotly debated bill, indicating that Iceland is not willing to take the Irish route of letting taxpayers pay for the mistakes and failures of private sector financial institutions.

The Icesave bill stipulated that the Icelandic taxpayer should underwrite all payments of the Icesave claim, made by the British and Dutch governments. The successful No-campaign argued that the claims have no legal basis, and that the agreement was unfair, highly risky for the fragile Icelandic economy, and unnecessary as the Dutch and British government were already entitled to receive 89% of the total amount of the Icesave claims from the estate of the failed Icelandic bank Landsbanki.

“A large majority of Icelandic voters has thrown out the immoral notion that odious private debt can be nationalised as an afterthought,” says Internet entrepreneur Frosti Sigurjónsson, a spokesman for Advice, which led the successful No-campaign. The Icesave claim arose after the global banking crisis in 2008, when British and Dutch authorities stepped in and paid depositors of the Icesave deposit accounts, branches of the failed Icelandic bank Landsbanki in Britain and the Netherlands. This was done in order to quell depositor concerns at a tenuous stage in the banking crisis, rather than to wait for the independent Icelandic Depositors’ and Investors’ Guarantee Fund to settle the accounts.

The British and Dutch position has been that the Republic of Iceland is responsible for repayment as the ability of the Icelandic fund to meet those obligations was highly doubted. “There is no legal basis for the claim against the Icelandic taxpayer,” says lawyer Sigridur Andersen of the No-campaign Advice. “The Depositors’ Guarantee Fund was founded according to the letter and spirit of European Union directive 94/19/EC, which specifically prohibits sovereign guarantee of the fund.” She adds that the directive was never intended to cover systemic failure. “Iceland suffered the collapse of every major bank, a systemic collapse.” This is the third agreement on the Icesave claims to be rejected. The British and Dutch governments rejected the first one after Althingi, the Icelandic parliament, had amended the original draft agreement in August 2009; the second was overwhelmingly defeated by 93% of Icelandic voters in the Icesave referendum of March 2010.

This time the heated debate centred largely on legal and moral issues on one hand, and political questions on the other, while economic questions also loomed large.

“The collapse of the Icelandic financial system shows the risks of having a poorly supervised banking system which mixes supposedly ‘safe’ high street banking with risky investment banking and allows banks to become ‘too big to fail’”, said Dr Sveinn Valfells, a UK based independent investor and an Advice team member. The Yes-campaign stressed that the agreement was necessary to normalize relations with London and The Hague and a prerequisite for Iceland entering international bond markets again. It also emphasized that the terms of the agreement were less onerous than the previous agreements.

The No-campaign countered that aside from this one issue Icelandic relations with Britain and the Netherlands were quite amicable; that as for the international financial markets the Icesave issue was a minor matter compared to the stringent capital controls imposed by the Icelandic government sponsoring the bill; and that the terms of the agreement were only superficially favourable, in reality the Icelandic taxpayer would bear any and all risk and the Icelandic economy be even more severly strained than before.

The successful No-campaign focused primarily on the moral issues at the heart of the matter: Should the Icelandic taxpayer be a guarantor of all loans made by commercials banks? What is the responsibility of financial institutions and bondholders? What are the sovereign consequences of Iceland submitting to legally unfounded claims by foreign powers?

Yesterday the Icelandic voters answered ‘No’ unequivocally. No, illegitimate claims should not be accepted. No, losses due to the failure of banks in the private sector should not be borne by the taxpayer. No, an agreement imposing all costs and risks on one party is unacceptable and in this case possibly unmanageable."

Para quando um referendo sobre os roubos institucionalizados em Portugal?

Sem comentários: