REYKJAVIK — Voters in Iceland gave a resounding "no" in a referendum on whether to approve a renegotiated deal to compensate Britain and The Netherlands over the 2008 collapse of Icesave bank, according to first partial results quoted late Saturday by RUV public radio.
The partial count in three constituencies put the "no" side ahead with 7,685 votes against 5,286 "yes", according to the first figures released by the electoral commission.
Some 230,000 voters were asked to decide on the proposal to pay back Britain and the Netherlands 3.9 billion euros ($5.6 billion) they had spent on compensating 340,000 of their citizens who lost money when Icesave, an online bank, went under at the height of the global financial crisis.
The latest deal, laboriously negotiated among the three nations over more than two years, is considered more favourable to Iceland than a previous accord rejected in a January 2010 referendum by 93 percent of Icelanders.
It will allow Iceland to repay the debt gradually until 2046, at a 3.0 percent interest rate for the 1.3 billion euros it owes The Netherlands and at a 3.3 percent rate for the remainder owed to Britain.
The amount works out to some 12,000 euros per citizen of the 320,000-strong island nation, before interest.
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