Government Support for Legal Action against UK Authorities
5 January 2009
Statement from the Icelandic Government
Concerning Legal Proceedings Against UK Authorities
Iceland’s parliamentary delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has opened a current affairs debate by suggesting that “a Council of Europe member state, the United Kingdom, was instrumental in bringing down the economy of another member state – Iceland.”
The following is a transcript of the telephone conversation between UK Chancellor Alistair Darling and Árni Mathiesen, Icelandic finance minister. The call took place 7-October-2008, and the transcript has been widely published. The FT observed in their analysis that "at no point does the Icelandic finance minister state unequivocally that Iceland would not honour its obligations."
During the conversation, Mathiesen refers to an earlier letter sent by the Icelandic Government to HM Treasury on 5-October. That letter had stated: "If needed the Icelandic Government will support the Depositors' and Investors' Guarantee Fund in raising the necessary funds, so that the Fund would be able to meet the minimum compensation limits in the event of a failure of Landsbanki and its UK branch." That would seem to have been a clear statement that in fact Iceland did plan to "honour its obligations."
Letter from Jónína S. Lárusdóttir to Clive Maxwell, HM Treasury, 5-Oct-2008 which states:
Reference is made to the discussions you have had with the Ministry this weekend.
If needed the Icelandic Government will support the Depositors' and Investors' Guarantee
Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander Isle of Man Action Group
Primary points arising from the meeting with Iceland’s Ambassador to the UK Sverrir Haukur Gunnlaugsson – 20 October 2008