About 60% voted "no" in an April 9 national referendum on the latest plan for Iceland's government to pay the British for their blown-out speculations in Iceland. Voters thus reiterated their decision in the March, 2010 referendum on a previously proposed bailout deal. After recent opinion polls had given a supposed comfortable majority for an affirmative decision, the hardening of the voters' mood shocked international financier observers, who braced for "political and economic chaos."
The proposed second deal had been pushed through the parliament, but Iceland's President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson had vetoed the measure and submitted the issue to this new referendum. At a Sunday press conference, the President praised Iceland's ability to rationally discuss these issues and to vote according to their conscience.
- Less Than Frank -
By contrast with the President, Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir denounced the voters, saying "The worst option was chosen. The vote has split the nation in two. We must do all we can to prevent political and economic chaos as a result of this outcome." Social Democrat Sigurdardóttir became prime minister in 2009, with backing from the Left-Green party. The divorced mother of two, Sigurdardóttir in 2010 became one of the first Icelandic women to marry another woman under the new same-sex marriage law.
Britain's Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander announced the U.K. and the Netherlands would sue Iceland for billions in European courts. In an added chilling threat, it was mooted that Britain would block Iceland from joining the European Union until they bail out London. The accession of the Atlantic Ocean island-country to the EU would require ... a referendum in Iceland.