Iceland. In January, police raided the banks Kaupthing, Landsbanki and Glitnir in connection with an investigation into possible crimes in the collapse of Landsbanki’s autumn 2008. Two former bank executives were arrested. Later, nine people were arrested in London and Reykjavík in connection with an investigation into Kaupthing’s collapse.
In February, the Parliament approved 44 votes to 16 with the revised so-called Ices agreement. The agreement regulated how Iceland will compensate the UK and the Netherlands for deposit guarantees paid to approximately 340,000 customers affected by the Icelandic bank Icesave’s collapse in 2008. Following a presidential vote against an earlier version of the agreement, a referendum was held in 2010, when the Icesavas agreement was rejected. Now President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson vetoed the new Icesa agreement. As a result, the government was forced to announce a referendum again. It was held in April, when close to 60% said no to the Icesa law.
According to Countryaah official site, the government’s loss in the referendum led to a declaration of confidence in the Allting, and opposition leader Bjarni Benediktsson from the Independence Party demanded new elections. However, the government won the vote by 32 votes to 30. The question of how Iceland would pay its debts to the Netherlands and the United Kingdom was referred to the EFTA Surveillance Authority ESA. One success for the government was that the credit rating agency Fitch raised Iceland’s credit rating from negative to stable. The consequences of the referendum were not considered too serious, and Iceland’s economy was considered to be stabilizing.
In August, Iceland received the last disbursement of loans from the IMF from the $ 5 billion international support program from 2008, with Sweden contributing SEK 2.2 billion. Iceland was then considered to be able to cope without further support. At the same time, the situation was squeezed in the private economy with continued high unemployment and housing prices, which was about 40% lower than in 2007.
In June, former Prime Minister Geir Haarde was indicted for gross misconduct by the national court through neglect in the run-up to the Icelandic bank collapse in 2008. It was the first national prosecution case in Iceland’s history. Haarde described the charges as absurd and the trial as political persecution. He risked up to two years in prison on conviction. When the trial resumed in September, Haarde’s lawyers demanded that the prosecution be dropped. According to analysts, Haarde’s representative as prime minister, Davíð Oddsson, had the greatest political debt in the banking crisis.
In June, Iceland’s membership negotiations with the EU began. The country’s legislation had already come a long way in EU adaptation, but problems were expected in negotiations on agriculture and, above all, fishing. Iceland and the EU were in conflict, among other things. on the quotas for mackerel fishing. In November, the credit rating agency Moody’s noted that Iceland’s economy was on the rise following the deep crisis. According to Moody’s, the budget deficit is expected to fall to 3% in 2012 and the following year to surplus. What was considered to threaten the recovery of the Icelandic economy was a declining economic environment that could reduce Iceland’s export of fish and aluminum.
In May, the Grímsvötn volcano caused an eruption that left parts of Iceland in the dark as a result of volcanic ash and forced the country to close its airspace. Air traffic was also affected in large parts of northern Europe with many hundreds of canceled flights. Grímsvötn is Iceland’s most active volcano, and the eruption’s smoke pillar reached 20 kilometers into the air. After a week, however, the ash cloud was gone from European airspace.