Halldór Ásgrímsson, the Icelandic Prime Minister, said today in a speech at a commerce conference hosted by the Icelandic Chamber of Commerce (ICC) that he believed Iceland will be a member of the EU by 2015. The conference's topic was Iceland in the year 2015. Mr Ásgrímsson said the most important factor in that regard will be the future and size of the eurozone. Therefore he said it is very important whether Denmark, Sweden and the UK decide to adopt the euro or not. He stressed, however, that Iceland was not on its way into the EU in the forseeable future. The debate in Iceland is not yet "mature enough" according to him and the necessary political circumstances are also missing.
Leaders of the conservative Independence Party, the coalition partner of Mr Ásgrímsson's Progressive Party, have today stressed that as before they do not agree with the Prime Minister on the EU. EU membership is as before not seen as a favourable option for Iceland. The chairman of the Independence Party and Foreign Minister, Geir H. Haarde, said to the Icelandic media that he did not see a reason to react whenever Mr Ásgrímsson expressed himself on EU issues. It was a known fact that the Independence Party disagreed with the Prime Minister on the EU.
In other words Mr Ásgrímsson speaking positively about the EU is nothing new since he is pro-EU himself. Meanwhile, not only his coalition partner in government disagrees with him, he also doesn't have the support of his own party which he admitted today. In other words he is free to believe what he wants according to his own wishful thinking, but it doesn't make it a fact. He simply hasn't got the necessary backing, far from it.
According to the last poll in Iceland on the following of the Icelandic political parties the Independence Party has 44,7% while the Progressive Party only has 9,6%.