Page last updated at 18:46 GMT, Sunday, 7 March 2010

Icelanders react to 'No' result

Savers lost billions when Icesave's owner Landsbanki collapsed

Voters in Iceland have overwhelmingly rejected proposals to pay back debts to the UK and the Netherlands in the wake of the collapse of the Icesave bank.

With a third of results counted, 93% of voters said "No" in Saturday's referendum.

Here, Icelandic voters reflect the huge opposition to the proposals and give their views on how Iceland should handle its huge debts.


I voted "No" because there are no legal obligations for Icelandic taxpayers to compensate the British and the Dutch for debts incurred by private companies beyond their worth. At least the losses caused by the flaws in the international banking regulatory system should be shared equally per head of the three populations. We want fairness, not blackmail.
Sölvi Eysteinsson, Reykjavik

I voted "No". I voted "No" to an unfair deal, with a colonising mentality. I voted "No" to the oppression of the small by the big. I voted "No" to global capitalism. I voted "No" to greed. I voted "No" to standing by as my people take on burdens which do not belong on their shoulders. I voted "No". Tomorrow the world will follow my lead.
Katrín Oddsdóttir, Reykjavik

The outcome is a token of the people's unhappiness with a flawed system
Jon Audunarson, Reykjavik

I voted "No" to express my opinion that we should not cover the debts. I feel that citizens should not pay for the financial mistakes of companies.
Óskar Freyr Hinriksson, Reykjavik

We said a big "No" in this referendum. My family's livelihood comes from selling seafood to the UK and some of my best friends are there. Unfortunately politicians on both sides have taken the Icesave matter out of context, as the over-inflated Landsbanki bank should have been bankrupted from day one of the crash. Neither Icelanders nor the UK public should pay for the Icesave crash, but each state has a tendency to move private debt over to the public and let it pay for decades. Iceland is facing now what the UK, EU and US are facing very soon.
Ivar Palsson, Reykjavik

I voted "No". This referendum was not about rejecting a deal, as a new one is being negotiated as we speak. This vote was about ordinary citizens in a democracy saying "we will not accept socialised losses for the masses". The outcome is a token of the people's unhappiness with a flawed system.
Jon Audunarson, Reykjavik

I voted "No" because I just can't see the logic in a taxpayer like myself bailing out a private bank that runs on profit. It makes as little sense as me bailing out a jewellery store that is going broke. The bottom line is that it has nothing to do with me so therefore I should not be forced to pay for their mistakes.
Saevar Gudbjornsson, Reykjavik


I voted "Yes". The deal that the parliament accepted in December should be ratified. I believe it's a good and fair deal. We Icelanders have a moral obligation to pay this and the British and the Dutch made it easy for us to pay up.

The referendum was completely meaningless
Jon, Iceland

But voting "Yes" was stupid in a sense that the three governments have an even fairer deal for us Icelanders on the table. So the referendum was completely meaningless as a vast majority voted "No" in the hope that this deal will become a reality.

So in a way, my "Yes" vote was more of a protest against the opposition parties (the Independent and Progressives), the parties responsible for the bust. It's also a protest against the stupid In-defence group and President Grimsson who enjoyed the bankers' hospitality, private jets and yachts during the good years.
Jon, Iceland

Iceland PM Johanna Sigurdardottir
Iceland's PM may negotiate a different deal with the UK and Dutch

This was the silliest referendum ever. If you said "Yes" the Icelanders will get a worse outcome in terms of repayment, compared to the agreement from negotiations between the three countries concerned. If you said "No", the agreement from last autumn will come into play which both UK and the Netherlands said no to. Our finance minister informed us beforehand that whatever happened, the negotiations between the three countries will continue this week. So I stayed at home.
Johann Orlygsson, Akureyri

We, the Icelanders, are going to pay what we are supposed to pay by law, and according to EU legislation, not a penny more and especially without interest. Trying to impose the interest on Icelanders just shows how arrogant Mr Darling and Mr Brown are. They clearly did not think when they paid out to Icesave clients in full.
Ragnar, Reykjavík

The rage and the feeling of unfairness here is overwhelming
Ingveldur Eiríksdóttir, Selfoss

It should be noted that Iceland is the world's oldest democracy. Prime Minister Sigurdardottir made it known that she would not take part in the referendum and has done everything in her power to play down its significance. Such behaviour by the prime minister of the world's oldest democracy is truly shameful.
Carlos, Reykjavik, Iceland

Even if I feel it is very unfair for the Icelandic people to pay the debts of irresponsible and greedy bankers, the majority of our people reluctantly feel that we have to. I didn't really know what to do about the referendum since the parties seem to be so close to reaching a slightly better deal, so saying "No" to the old one in this referendum seemed unnecessary.
Laufey Bjarnadottir, Reykjavik

We want to be a nation that honours its obligations, but on the other hand there is this huge pile of debt that the bankers threw at us and buried us all in. The rage and the feeling of unfairness here is overwhelming.
Ingveldur Eiríksdóttir, Selfoss

This referendum was not about paying for Icesave. Iceland will pay the bill, but the terms of what were being voted on were ridiculous. Nobody in Iceland likes the idea of paying this huge bill, but the country will honour our commitments. The mistakes in this case are everywhere, first the greedy arrogant bankers, then the whole regulating system in all three countries and the politicians that Icelanders voted for a few years back. The worst thing is that people in Iceland long for a solution to their financial problems and unemployment - and nothing is happening whilst Icesave remains unsolved.
Silja Ingolfsdottir, Reykjavik

Whether we feel we owe the money or not, doing nothing to resolve the issue will place Iceland in a precarious financial position for the next 25 years. The banks and our government have made mistakes but we must restore our standing in the financial community or suffer the long-term consequences, which will be severe.
Zephraim McGuiness, Reykjavik

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