The chairman of the conservative Independence Party (Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn), Bjarni Benediktsson, again stressed in a radio interview earlier this week his party's policy that Iceland's ongoing application to join the European Union should be withdrawn without delay. Asked if he would withdraw it if his party would enter govenment he replied with a firm 'yes'.
In an article in the Icelandic daily Morgunblaðið yesterday the chairman of the liberal Progressive Party (Framsóknarflokkurinn), Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, called for the EU application to be put aside and the accession negotiations stopped while the EU is sorting out its economic difficulties and it becomes clear what the outcome of that will be. His party's policy, accepted earlier this year, firmly states that Iceland's interests are best secured outside the EU.
Next general elections will be held according to schedule in the spring of 2013 if the current fragile center-left coalition government will hold onto power until then. The next government to take power in Iceland is likely to be either a coalition between the Independence Party and the Progressive Party or to involve at least one of the two parties.
According to the latest public opinion polls in Iceland the vast majority of Icelanders both oppose joining the EU and wants to withdraw the application. For over two years now all opinion polls have shown a majority against EU membership.
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