Finance Minister Steingrímur J. Sigfússon and chairman of the junior coalition partner in the Icelandic government, the Left Green Movement, said in a recent interview with the website Balinn.blog.is (published on August 21) that if he had been in opposition and thus not in the government he would probably have voted against applying for membership of the European Union this summer instead of voting in favour.
Sigfússon's Left Greens are opposed to EU membership according to their platform but the leadership decided to give in and support applying in order to stay in government with the pro-EU Social Democratic Alliance. The social democrats had made it an absolute condition for a renewed coalition after the general elections last spring that an application for EU membership would be sent to Brussels.
However, Sigfússon recently admitted that despite the application being delivered by his government it was nevertheless obvious that the Icelandic people did not want to join the EU. The latest opinion polls have suggested that a vast majority opposes EU membership with the last one from Capacent published on November 5 putting the margins at 54 percent against and only 29 percent in favour.
The interview on YouTube (in Icelandic)
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