Posts Tagged ‘UK’

Iceland voters reject plan to repay bank debt

By News Wires (text)

 REUTERS – Iceland faces more economic uncertainty and a drawn-out European court case after its voters rejected for a second time a plan to repay $5 billion to Britain and the Netherlands from a bank crash.
The British and Dutch governments voiced disappointment with the result of Saturday’s referendum, in which almost 60 percent of voters opposed the repayment deal.
“We must do all we can to prevent political and economic chaos as a result of this outcome,” Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir told state television.
The issue will now be settled by the court of the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA), the European trade body overseeing Iceland’s cooperation with the European Union.
“My estimate is that the process will take a year, a year and a half at least, Finance Minister Steingrimur Sigfusson told a news conference.
The debt was incurred when Britain and the Netherlands compensated their nationals who lost savings in online “Icesave” accounts owned by Landsbanki, one of three overextended Icelandic banks that collapsed in late 2008, triggering an economic meltdown in the country of 320,000 people.
Economists have said failure to resolve the issue means Iceland faces delays ending currency controls, boosting investment and returning to financial markets for funding.
But the centre-left coalition government said it would not resign despite the defeat.
“The government will emphasize maintaining economic and financial stability in Iceland and continuing along the path of reconstruction which it began following the economic collapse of 2008,” it said in a statement.
It said a fresh round of talks on further funding from the International Monetary Fund, which led a bailout for the island, would be delayed several weeks, but that it had enough foreign exchange reserves to cover debts maturing this year and next.
Court case ahead
The proposed deal at issue in Saturday’s vote set a clear timetable for repaying the Dutch and the British, including interest. But voters rejected the idea that taxpayers should foot the bill for what they see as bankers’ irresponsibility.
“I know this will probably hurt us internationally, but it is worth taking a stance,” Thorgerdun Asgeirsdottir, a 28-year-old barista, said after casting a “no” vote.
Dutch Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager said: “This is not good for Iceland, nor for the Netherlands. The time for negotiations is over. Iceland remains obliged to repay. The issue is now for the courts to decide.”
Economists have said the court route could be much costlier.
The government still hopes most of the debt will eventually be paid back from the estate of the bankrupt Landsbanki. Ratings agencies were following the vote closely. Moody’s had said it might lower Iceland’s rating in case of a ‘no’.
Standard & Poor’s analyst Eileen Zhang said a ‘no’ vote “might possibly result in a lengthy legal process and further uncertainties regarding the ultimate fiscal cost”.


China upset with American and Western policies about invading sovereign nations has now moved naval vessels to the Mediterranean by Libya. Flexing it’s might, no one knows if this to show support, watch how western allies conduct war, or if they will intervene and now have a war that spans the globe. We are looking at world war 3. Children never grow up. This reminds me of the Gulf of Tonkin incident. When Americans pushed their naval vessel into an area in Vietnam that was under fire. Of course what happens is a bullet hits the US Naval Vessel and we were at war with Vietnam (which was originally a French Vietnamese war).

A First: Fully Armed Chinese Missile Frigate Spotted Off Libyan Coast

Author: Mac Slavo

Though China abstained from a UN Security Council vote authorizing a no-fly-zone in Libya, and are not among the 16 nation coalition involved in Operation Odyssey Dawn, for the first time in modern day naval history, a Chinese warship sailed in the Mediterranean Sea. The 4000 ton Xuzhou missile frigate sailed to Libya after having been deployed of the coast of Yemen, on the other side of the Red Sea, a few days ago.

The missile frigate’s role is not exactly clear, but based on China’s position thus far it is not likely that the ship is part of the US, UK and French led attack. The People’s Daily, the Communist Party’s newspaper, earlier pointed to Iraq and Afghanistan, and criticized the US for launching a third attack “on a sovereign nation,” so the chances that China is providing assistance are slim. While China may be flexing some of its military might, they are more than likely in the area strictly to observe operations – for the time being.

Dude people are going bonkers!


Government releases UFO sighting and policy files

By Michelle Martin


(Reuters) – The government Thursday released 35 previously classified files documenting sightings of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) by the military and members of the public dating back to the 1950s.

The files contain around 8,500 pages which mainly cover the period from 1997 to 2005 and include photographs, drawings and descriptions of flying saucer sightings, as well as letters the Ministry of Defence sent eyewitnesses in response to their accounts.

Policemen, a soldier, a RAF officer and members of the public report sightings of objects including a “chewy mint shaped solid craft” and aerial objects resembling a “ring,” a “jellyfish” and a “silver voile spin top.”

In one account a man said he believed he had been “abducted” by aliens in October 1998 after seeing an unidentified craft hover over his London home and finding he had gained an hour of time in the process.

“It was a large cigar-shaped vehicle with big projectiles on each side like wings,” he told the MoD.

Read rest of article at link below:

The UK sticks it to Gadhafi by seizing his assets to the tune of almost $5 bil dollars. I wonder how much of that is American Tax Payer dollars sent as “foreign aid”.

Britain freezes UK assets of Gadhafi and family

LONDON – Britain on Sunday froze the U.K.-based assets of Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi, members of his family and their representatives in accordance with U.N. sanctions imposed on Libya.

Those affected include Gadhafi’s four sons and one daughter, the Foreign Office said.

“I decided to implement this UN resolution in the U.K. as quickly as possible, before the financial markets reopened,” Treasury chief George Osborne said. “This is a strong message for the Libyan regime that violence against its own people is not acceptable.”

No immediate figure was put on the value of the assets, which banks and other financial institutions are now under an obligation to track down and freeze. Cash, shares, bonds and property are among the items affected.

The Times newspaper reported this weekend that Gadhafi deposited 3 billion pounds ($4.8 billion) with a London private wealth manager last week. The report did not cite sources.

The U.K. also banned the unlicensed export of any uncirculated Libyan banknotes from Britain. All existing export licenses for goods and technology that could be used for internal repression have been revoked and future licenses will be subject to the U.N. embargo.

President Barack Obama said Friday the U.S. was freezing the assets of the Gadhafi regime, and Switzerland has imposed similar measures.

It was also unclear what Gadhafi-linked funds were still in Swiss banks. Libya withdrew almost $6 billion from Swiss banks in 2008 after the two countries became embroiled in a spat over the arrest of Gadhafi’s son Hannibal in a Geneva hotel.

The withdrawal of the funds illustrates the blurred lines between Gadhafi’s personal assets and those belonging to the Libyan state.

Libya’s sovereign wealth fund is worth about $70 billion thanks to the country’s oil and gas wealth. But much of that money is controlled by Gadhafi and his family, who are believed to have investments throughout Europe, including in Italy, Britain and the Netherlands.

The Libyan Investment Authority owns several properties in London’s financial district and other upscale locations, and has a stake in the U.K.-based publishing company Pearson PLC, which own the Financial Times. One of the leader’s sons, Saif al-Islam, reportedly owns a 10-million-pound ($16 million) mansion in London.

Earlier Sunday, Britain revoked the diplomatic immunity of Gadhafi and his family, effectively banning his entry into the country, and called on the autocratic leader to step down.

Foreign Secretary William Hague also said former Prime Minister Tony Blair has spoken to Gadhafi in the past few days, but did not disclose what was discussed. Hague defended Blair’s friendly relations with Gadhafi’s regime in the past and British trade dealings with the Libyan ruler.

He dismissed suggestions that Britain was complicit in the repression in Libya by selling it arms and trading in oil, and said it was right for Blair’s government to establish commercial relations with Libya.

“It was right to be able to establish a relation … that took Libya away from pursuing weapons of mass destruction programs and the state sponsorship of international terrorism,” Hague told the BBC in an interview. “If we hadn’t done, that we might be in a worse situation now.”