Iceland Trade Minister has been pro-EU for many years

Some foreign media, including Bloomberg and AP, have recently reported that the Icelandic government may be changing its position towards membership of the European Union (EU) and then quoted either the Icelandic Minister of Trade, Bjorgvin G. Sigurdsson, or the Foreign Minister, Ingibjorg Solrun Gisladottir. The fact is, however, that both of them have favoured EU membership for many years and both of them represent the Socialdemocratic Alliance (Samfylkingin) which is as before the only political party in Iceland in favour of starting membership negotiations with the EU.

The social democrats are the junior coalition partner of the conservative Independence Party (Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn) in the Icelandic government. Prime Minister Geir Haarde earlier this week underlined that the policy of his government has not changed and is as before that EU membership is not on the agenda. The task ahead is to restore the Icelandic economy he said and the right time for a debate whether or not Iceland should apply for EU membership is not during the reconstruction.