Some Icelandic politicians are warning that if Iceland doesn’t apply for EU membership now, it may have to wait until 2016.
Morgunblaðið reports that Aðalstein Leifsson, who sat on behalf of the Social Democrats on the European Committee, warned that Iceland must either apply for European Union membership now, or possibly wait as late as 2016 or 2017. Leifsson mentioned that on the committee’s trip to Brussels last September, it came to light that EU leaders wanted to slow the growth of the EU – Croatia is already in membership talks, and is expected to be formally brought in in 2011 or 2012. Thereafter, EU leaders expressed a desire to put a hold on letting in any new nations until after 2015.
Conservative MP Illugi Gunnarsson said he wanted to know whether any sort of time frame could be given with regards to talks between Social Democrats and Leftist-Greens on the EU question – both parties comprise the current (and, if polling trends continue through the election, the next) government, but while Social Dems strongly favor joining the EU, the Leftist-Greens believe Iceland would be better served outside of it, although they do believe the question should be put to national referendum.
Currently, about two-thirds of the nation is against joining the EU.
Leftist-Green MP Árni Þór Sigurðsson said it was impossible to say precisely when the two parties could have discussions on the EU; that this would have to be decided after the elections on 25 April.
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