From Iceland — Most Icelanders Do Not Believe The Króna Is The Future

Most Icelanders Do Not Believe The Króna Is The Future

Published October 11, 2016

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
James Cridland/Creative Commons

Only about one third of respondents to a new poll believe that the króna will be Iceland’s currency in the future.

About 28,000 Icelanders responded to the poll, conducted by national broadcasters RÚV. Of those, 60% either strongly or moderately disagreed with the contention that “the Icelandic króna will be the future currency of Iceland”. At the same time, only 30% believe that Iceland will continue to use the króna into the future, with only 14% strongly of this opinion.

These figures are higher than a similar Fréttablaðið poll conducted last year, wherein 53% of respondents said Iceland should adopt another currency, while 47% said they wanted to keep the króna. When including those who had no opinion or did not respond, the majority still wanted 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 at the time 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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