Iceland Votes Nei : Planet Money The people of Iceland voted against reimbursing foreign governments for a bailout of an Icelandic bank. The foreign governments say they'll sue.
NPR logo Iceland Votes Nei

Iceland Votes Nei

In the heat of the financial crisis, hundreds of thousands of British and Dutch citizens lost money in savings accounts at a failed Icelandic bank. The governments of the U.K. and the Netherlands bailed them out.

This weekend, the people of Iceland voted against paying back the U.K. and the Netherlands for the cost of that bailout. The margin in Saturday's vote was 60-40.

Money quote from today's WSJ:

"It is totally insane that taxpayers foot the bill for failed private companies," said Frosti Sigurjónsson, an Internet entrepreneur who is a spokesman for an anti-Icesave group. "It was odious. We had to say no."

The foreign governments — the Netherlands and the UK — now say they'll sue Iceland. They argue that, under European banking laws, Iceland was responsible for guaranteeing the savings accounts in the failed bank.

Planet Money's David Kestenbaum was in Iceland for the vote, along with our Icelandic intern Baldur Hedinsson. We'll have more from them later this week.

For more: Read our post, "Should I Pay For Bankers' Mistakes?"