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Icelanders Reject Bank Bailout Repayment Plan


People queue to vote in the Icesave referendum in Reykjavik, Iceland, April 9, 2011

People queue to vote in the Icesave referendum in Reykjavik, Iceland, April 9, 2011

Voters in Iceland have rejected a plan to repay Britain and the Netherlands $5 billion their citizens lost in a failed Icelandic bank.

With most of the ballots from Saturday's referendum counted, 59 percent of voters had rejected the plan.

Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir called the results disappointing. She has said a "no" vote would result in political and economic chaos.

Britain's chief secretary to the treasury, Danny Alexander, also called the outcome disappointing. He said Britain respects the voters' will but said the matter will likely end up in the courts.

Authorities say British and Dutch customers deposited $5 billion in online bank, Icesave. When the bank failed, Britain and the Netherlands compensated their citizens for lost savings. Both countries are now seeking reimbursement from Iceland.

A payment schedule approved by Iceland's parliament in January was eventually vetoed by the president.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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