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Readers agree with Icelanders: Say 'no' to debt payoff

Most of the reader mail received by Deutsche Welle fully supports the Icelanders' referendum vote to refuse to pay off debts owed to the UK and the Netherlands.

An Icelander reads a referendum pamphlet in Reykjavik on Tuesday March 2, 2010

60 percent opposed the refund to the British and the Dutch

The following comments reflect the views of DW-WORLD.DE readers. DW-WORLD.DE reserves the right to edit for length and appropriateness of content.

Icelanders refuse bank debt payoff to Britain and Netherlands

I live in Iceland and my vote is no. The calculated average of €12,000 per person in the Icesave negotiations is ridiculous. I had nothing to do with the activity of the banks. The UK and the Netherlands have the responsibility to make sure foreign companies are operating legally, and have the finances to ensure their business. France said no to the Icesave investments in the first place as they saw right away - Iceland could never cover this - not the banks, not the government and not the people. No matter what comes out of this, the payments won't start until our children are the ones bearing the payment for something that happened before they were born.

The UK and the Netherlands need to get over the embarrassment that they were so greedy for the green grass on the other side, that they never took the steps to make sure this was all legal and that they were doing business with banks that could cover the investments. Icesave was an investment. All investments have risks. Nobody complained when they were making money from Iceland ... but now they expect Icelanders to pay for their investments that went wrong?

I hope this turns out like the cod war when Icelanders came together and just said no to the British who, even way back then, were trying to strong-arm this tiny country. It's just not right. My vote will always be - no. -- Frogbyn, Iceland


Good work by not paying those criminals who started this mess in the first place! -- Jaymz, Canada

No, Icelanders should absolutely not have to compensate Britain and the Netherlands! Ireland salutes Iceland. When will Irish politicians offer Irish people a referendum on the bailout of German, British and French banks? -- Ger, Ireland

UK and Dutch depositors took the risk of depositing their money in an offshore, foreign, private bank rather than invest the money in safe, lower interest rate UK and Dutch government bonds. No, Icelanders should not have to repay it. -- Michael, US

The brave people of Iceland have said no to the Ponzi scheme of the EU-controlled private banks. They will be an example for the rest of the world, which surely terrifies the European banks and the US Federal Reserve. I'm supporting Iceland by buying their products when possible and perhaps being a tourist. -- Sean, US

In a mixed economy operating under the principle of stakeholders and other lines of government intervention, the private banks are only private to the extent that "private" is a legal expediency, for when the government wants to disown the consequences of its catastrophic policies. Therefore, the ordinary Icelander is just as guilty as the bankers. -- Charles, United Kingdom

Compiled by Stuart Tiffen
Editor: Martin Kuebler

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