Leftist-Greens Grassroots Remain Anti-EU - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Leftist-Greens Grassroots Remain Anti-EU

Published October 25, 2010

Despite changing attitudes towards the European Union among Icelanders in general and Leftist-Greens in particular, the grassroots of the party remains opposed to entering, and has called upon party leadership to withdraw from accession talks.
At a party meeting concentrated on foreign affairs last Friday, RÚV reports, party chairman Steingrímur J. Sigfússon emphasized that the party’s position is the same – they do not want to join the European Union. Former MP and minister Ragnar Arnalds emphasized that all the Leftist-Greens agreed to in their coalition deal with the Social Democrats was to apply for EU membership; it will ultimately be up to the Icelandic people to vote Yes or No on the question.
In fact, the platform of the Leftist-Green party with regards to the EU has always been that the nation ultimately must decide on the question.
Leftist-Green MP Álfheiður Ingadóttir told RÚV that conservatives are engaged in a campaign to undermine support for the Leftist-Green leadership by trying to steer the entire discussion. She contends rather that Iceland should continue the accession process, which may take years, and in that time opposition to the EU will grow among the Icelandic people.
According to a poll conducted last September by the newspaper Fréttablaðið, 64.2% of those who responded said that they wanted to see accession talks finished so that the matter could be voted on in a national referendum. 35.8% want instead for Iceland to withdraw from joining. 63.6% of those identifying themselves as Left-Green voters said they support the accession talks concluding, with only 36.4% supporting withdrawal.

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