Majority against applying for EU membership in Iceland

According to a new public opinion poll in Iceland 42,3 percent of Icelanders are now opposed to applying for membership of the European Union (EU) while 34,3 percent are in favour. 23 percent had not made up their minds. The poll was produced on February 18 by the Icelandic newspaper Fréttablaðið with a sample of 800 people, and hence produced ten days after the Icelandic Prime Minister, Halldór Ásgrímsson, said in a speech at a commerce conference in Reykjavik that he predicted Iceland would have become a memberstate of the EU by 2015. The Icelandic people therefore don’t seem to agree with Mr Ásgrímsson. If only those, who said either their favoured EU membership application or were opposed to it, are taken into the picture 55 percent are opposed while 45% are in favour.

The question asked was: "Should Iceland apply for membership of the European Union?" 98,1 percent of the people in the sample participated. This is the first poll in Iceland on the attitute of Icelanders towards EU membership since August last year when according to a poll by Gallup 43 percent were in favour of joining the EU while 37 percent were opposed. This time, however, a different question was asked; that is whether to apply for EU membership but not just whether to join the Union.

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