From Iceland — Better to Wait on EU Discussion

Better to Wait on EU Discussion

Published April 9, 2010

Former Social Democrat chairman and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir told a German journalist that it would be better to wait on accession talks with the European Union rather than go forward while Icelanders themselves are uncertain they want to join.
Clemens Bomsdorf, a journalist for the German version of the Financial Times, posted the interview he conducted with her on his personal webpage. When he asked how likely she thought it was that Iceland would enter the EU, she replied, “I don’t know. I don’t think it would be approved in a national referendum.” Referring to the national referendum that would take place if the EU agreed to accept Iceland, which already applied for membership. “The foreigners are the bad guys in this situation. To talk about more cooperation with the EU is probably not a popular topic,” adding that it would be better to encourage greater discussion on the EU question before going forward with accession talks.
The Social Democrat party has long fought for Iceland’s entry into the EU. Gísladóttir herself is no exception in this regard. However, the matter remains decidedly unpopular, as most Icelanders are against joining. Most of their concerns surround sovereignty of fishing waters, agriculture, and the prospect of rising unemployment.

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