A national referendum on the so-called Icesave legislation will be held on 6 March 2010, as announced by the Icelandic Minister of Justice, Ragna Arnadottir, today. Out of country voting will start on the 28 January. The referendum comes in the wake of the President of Iceland´s decision on 5 January not to sign into law a bill which provides for a state guarantee of loan repayments to the British and Dutch governments. According to Article 26 of the Constitution, a national referendum must take place should the President not sign a bill into law.
Despite the President´s decision not to sign the bill it nevertheless enters into law and remains in force unless rejected in a national referendum.
The Icelandic Government has clearly stated its intention to honor its international obligations and remains fully committed to implementing the bilateral loan agreements with the UK and the Netherlands and thus the state guarantee provided for by the law. Iceland has been in close contact with the Governments of the UK and the Netherlands, other partner countries and the EU and the IMF, to inform counterparties about the latest developments and explain the process triggered by the decision announced by the President.