From Iceland — Kópavogur Challenges National Government Over EU

Kópavogur Challenges National Government Over EU

Published March 13, 2014

Kópavogur town council voted in favour of a measure calling upon the Foreign Minister to withdraw a parliamentary proposal to end accession talks with the European Union.

Vísir reports that the Kópavogur town council proposal came from Ómar Stefánsson, himself a member of the Progressive Party, from where Minister of Foreign Affairs Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson also hails. Of the town council’s eleven seats, eight voted in favour of the measure, whilst three abstained – all members of the Independence Party.

“People are divided on this issue as they are on so many others,” Ómar told reporters. “But I personally want to see the Progressive Party follow their proposal from the previous party convention that [EU accession] talks will not be continued unless a public referendum calls for it.”

Here, Ómar refers not only to his own party’s position, but also the joint position of the ruling coalition, made shortly after their election last April.

As reported, last month’s decision by the ruling coalition to end EU talks altogether has prompted protests in the thousands. Recent polling also shows the great majority of Icelanders, from every political party, want a referendum on whether or not to continue EU accession talks.

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