The majority of Icelanders who responded to a new poll want to adopt a different currency than the króna, irrespective of EU membership.
According to the poll, conducted by Fréttablaðið and Stöð 2, 53% of those who responded want Iceland to adopt a new currency, while 47% want to keep the króna. When including those who had no opinion or did not respond, the majority still want a different currency: 42% were in favour of the idea, while 38% were against it, 17% were undecided and 3% did not respond.
Ásgeir Jónsson, an associate professor of economics at the University of Iceland, told reporters that the results were not especially surprising, and that Icelanders’ outlook on the króna is largely connected to the state of the economy.
“The króna has been in circulation more or less since home rule was established in 1918,” he said. “The time period from 2001 to 2008 was a bit special in the history of the nation, as the króna was free-floating in the currency market. And it seems to me that few people exactly want to repeat that experiment,” adding that the most realistic option would be for Iceland to enter into some kind of currency agreement with other European nations.
Such an agreement might not involve adopting the euro. About half of Icelanders polled last August were against Iceland joining the EU, but EU Central Bank authorities have made it clear that they oppose the idea of any country taking this strategy.
One of the most interesting ideas brought up in the past decade on the subject has been for Iceland to simply buy a shipload of Canadian dollars, stuff them into bank machines over the course of a weekend, and start using the Canadian dollar as the new currency. This idea has failed to gain any traction.
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