Iceland's president accused the United Kingdom and the Netherlands on Friday of financially "bullying" his country.
Olafur Ragnar Grimsson said the two countries had been "using their influence within the International Monetary Fund" to stop it lending Iceland billions of dollars needed to rebuild the country's debt-ridden economy.
"We are being bullied. The British and the Dutch are using their influence within the IMF to prevent the IMF program from going forward," Grimsson told CNN's Richard Quest.
"We have a situation, where a small nation is in fact ready to shoulder part of this burden but doesn't want to be put in a corner where the very survival of its economy in the next 10 years would be at stake."
The comments came after the UK expressed anger at the highly controversial decision by Iceland's president's to veto a bill that would pay back billions of dollars Iceland owes the UK and Netherlands. Britain was forced to spend $3.69 billion last year to cover the losses that British savers incurred when Icelandic banks collapsed.
The British and Dutch governments condemned the decision by President Grimsson and hinted at repercussions for Iceland's bid to join the European Union and for its $10bn international economic rescue program.
Despite being already approved by Iceland's parliament, Grimsson refused to sign the bill and called for a national referendum.
Grimsson told CNN: "May I remind that if you take the sum that the Icelandic taxpayers are asked to shoulder and you transform it in to the British economic system to get the relative size, this is equal to the British taxpayers being asked to pay £700 billion ($1.1 trillion) for the years and decades to come."
Icelandic Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir hinted that the move could further tarnish the country's image and crush its hopes to become a member of the European Union.
"Uncertainty... in the formal dealings with others countries can have unforeseen, wide-ranging and potentially damaging consequences for our society," she warned.
Announcing that Iceland was bankrupt ... was at worst, financial terrorism on their part
--Olafur Ragnar Grímsson
And while the repayment of Iceland's debt to the UK and the Netherlands is not theoretically a pre-condition for it to receive IMF funding, the president's actions could hinder it.
But Grimsson told CNN his move was in the name of democracy. He said he acted in response to the one-quarter of Icelanders who petitioned against the compensation bill that would cost about $17,300 per Icelandic citizen.
"We have forgotten that there are two pillars in the western heritage that we are proud of. One is the evolution of the free market but the second is the evolution of democracy," Grimsson told CNN.
"And what I did was when I was faced with a decision between the financial concerns on the one hand, and democracy on the other, I decided to go with democracy."
Grimsson's veto also reflects his country's anger with their treatment at British hands at the height of the economic crisis, when the UK employed anti-terror legislation to freeze Icelandic assets.
"They put my country, on the official Web site, the British government Web site, side by side with al Qaeda and the Taliban.
"And the second thing was that Gordon Brown in October and Alistair Darling went on global television, including CNN and stated that Iceland was a bankrupt country.
"Which was utter nonsense at its best and financial terrorism on their part at its worst." He added: "This meant that companies all over the world, who had had dealings with Iceland, closed their operations down."
As a result, said Grimsson, his economy was damaged by the British "to a greater extent than otherwise would have been the case."
In a statement on January 6, however, a spokesperson for the British prime minister said that "the Government expects the loan to be repaid.
"We are obviously very disappointed by the decision by the Icelandic President, but we do expect Iceland to live up to its legal obligations and repay the money."
Birgitta Jonsdottir - Financial War Against Iceland
We have member of the Icelandic Parliament Birgitta Jonsdottir with us from "the movement" to talk about the financial warfare that has been taking place against the people of Iceland since the Lehman Brothers-AIG world financial panic in September-October 2008. The governments of London, the Hague and the EU with the backing of the IMF is at the heart of this financial blackmail.
Netanyahu ‘spat in our face,’ White House officials said to say 2015-01-23 22:28
The White House’s outrage over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to speak before Congress in March — a move he failed to coordinate with the administration — began to seep through the diplomatic cracks on Friday, with officials telling Haaretz the Israeli leader had “spat” in President Barack Obama’s face.
“We thought we’ve seen everything,” the newspaper quoted an unnamed senior ...
The Return of the Protected Jewish Minority in Europe 2015-01-23 2:53
Contrary to the standard narratives of Jewish ‘history,’ a prominent feature of the historical presence of Jews in Europe has been their protected status. The common context for this status was a symbiotic relationship between the Jewish minority and exploitative or tyrannical elites. As agents of the feared elite, as foreigners, as exploiters in their own right, and with interests ...
Truth Revealed: McCain’s ‘Moderate Rebels’ in Syria ARE ISIS 2015-01-23 1:50
Poor John McCain and Lindsey Graham, Washington’s real first couple. They only want to arm the ‘moderate opposition’ in Syria. Three years on, how come their master plan isn’t working, while ISIS has grown so strong?
Despite what media lauded as, “the largest demonstration in France’s history – bigger than liberation at the end of WWII!” (can you rightly compare the ...
European 'No-Go' Zones: Fact or Fiction? 2015-01-22 0:37
Comment: This is an interesting article about Muslim no-go Zones in Europe. However, keep in mind that the focus in this piece is not addressing the root of the problem, but a symptom of the problem. Yes, there is an issue with large Islamic colonies in Europe today, but the article mentions nothing about who has changed the immigration laws ...
A Radical Traditionalist Critique of the Anti-Islam Movement 2015-01-22 0:20
The terrorist attack against the staff at the magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris shook an entire continent. In a European climate in which protests against the perceived Islamization of our civilizational sphere becomes ever more widespread, showing in increased electoral success for moderate nationalist parties, as well as in expressions of mass public dissent, the recent resurgence of violent Islamic ...