We do live in interesting times indeed: although the final results are not yet available, it looks as if Icelanders have rejected the second deal hammered out by the Icelandic, Dutch and British governments concerning the question of whether the Icelandic state should be required to reimburse Dutch and British savers who lost their money when the private Icelandic banks collapsed as well.
It's too early to say what this'll mean. Various sources note that the matter will now by referred to the European Free Trade Association Surveillance Authority; what the outcome of that'll be and whether Iceland will end up paying (or how much), I couldn't possibly attempt to predict. It remains to be seen whether the rejection of the current deal was a good choice, financially speaking, but one way or another, it was the Icelanders who decided now – the people who would've been required to actually pay the money over the course of more than an entire generation –, and THAT is a good thing.
Quite a few people have talked about representative democracies before the referendum and expressed their opinion that since Icelanders elected their current parliament, it is not their place to decide political matters anymore, but I disagree. The people are the ultimate authority in a democracy, after all; the parliament is merely tasked by the people with helping out with reaching and making decisions. And normally, this means just leaving things to the parliament entirely, like a CEO might leave smaller issues to his assistants and his team instead of micromanaging everything himself; but when it comes to such important matters, it is fair that the people themselves should decide what their fate will be. Anything else would be undemocratic in the truest sense of the word.
Anyhow, I'll certainly be watching how things develop there now; it'll be fascinating, no matter how it all plays out in the end.
Here's some press coverage, too (I'm not too happy with Guardian's headline, though, since the question of whether there is a debt owed in the first place is one of the things that people are debating):
- ZEIT: Isländer wollen nicht für Bankschulden geradestehen
- Spiegel: Isländer meutern gegen Zahlungen für Pleitebank
- BBC: Iceland rejects Icesave repayment deal
- Guardian: Iceland rejects plan to pay back debt owed following Icesave bank crash
US-American media have not picked up the story yet (the NY Times, LA Times and Washington Post, at least); probably understandable given that everyone's still asleep in the USA. *s*