Norwegian Minister of Agriculture Lars Peder Brekk told reporters that
the belief among some Icelanders that they would receive special
control over their fishing waters should they join the EU was comparable to believing in Santa Claus.
“Icelanders will never succeed in getting the European Union to agree to special conditions with regards to fishing matters”, he told news station ANB, “That’s like believing in Santa Claus.”
Brekk added that Iceland joining the EU would be a blessing, for the
EU, because the organization’s fishing waters would then expand by that
Swede Percy Westerlund, the EU ambassador to Norway, said that Brekk’s words were scare tactics, adding, “If Iceland becomes a part of the EU then that means that Icelanders have reached a deal with regards to fishing matters that Icelanders are happy with.”
Iceland’s fishing waters have been one of the largest areas of contention when it comes to the entire question of whether or not Icelanders want to apply for EU membership. Many fear that their fishing waters – one of the backbones of their economy – would be open to all EU fishing boats and that their own quota would be severely reduced. But some pro-EU voices have contended, for whatever reason, that Iceland would somehow be able to negotiate control over their fishing waters.