Support For Joining EU Increases - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Support For Joining EU Increases

Published November 25, 2013

A new Gallup poll shows support for Iceland joining the European Union increasing, while opposition is decreasing.
Vísir reports that, according to a new Gallup poll conducted on the behest of Já Ísland – a group that supports Iceland joining the EU – 41.7% of Icelanders say they would likely or definitely say Yes to a referendum on joining the EU if such a referendum were held today. At the same time, 58.3% considered it likely or definite that they would say No.
At this time last year, those percentages were 33.7% and 64.5%, respectively.
When the data is organised by party affiliation, Progressive voters remain the most strongly opposed to joining the EU – 87% are against accession. Social Democrats showed the highest support for joining, where only 9% said they were opposed to Iceland joining the EU.
Interestingly, voters of the Progressives’ partners in the ruling coalition – the Independence Party – were not as opposed to accession as the Progressives. 21% said they favoured joining the EU.
Meanwhile, most Bright Future voters – 75% – supported accession, as did 41% of Left-Green voters.
The news comes the same day that Minister of Foreign Affairs Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson told BBC World that the government will not continue accession talks with the European Union, claiming that “the interests of the nation are better served outside it.”
Accession talks are officially on hold, and the minister clarified that a formal decision is dependent on the results of a report from the Economics Department of the University of Iceland on the state of accession talks. The report is due out in January 2014.

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