Published January 22, 2013
Two leading Social Democrats campaigning to lead their party next week said they believe there is no cause for a public referendum on continuing European Union accession talks.
Guðbjartur Hannesson and Árni Páll Árnason, both Social Democrats currently campaigning to be their party’s next chairperson, were guests on the television news discussion show Kastljósið last night. Both candidates were in agreement that accession talks with the EU must be completed, followed by submitting the general accession agreement for public referendum.
Árni Páll added that he believed there was “no logic” to the proposal brought up by opposition parties to hold a public referendum on whether or not to continue the talks. Guðbjartur agreed, and said that the time has some to decide what Iceland’s position is on the EU – in or out.
The opinions of the candidates is in line with a recent poll conducted by Fréttablaðið. The largest portion of respondents to that poll – 48.5% – supported the idea of completing talks and putting the agreement up for referendum.
Primary elections for the Social Democrat chairpersonship will be held this Friday, with final results expected by the following Monday. EU accession talks are currently on hold until parliamentary elections in April conclude.