EU membership would not have saved Iceland

Iceland's former Prime Minister, Geir Haarde, said in a lecture at the Institute of European Affairs in Dublin, Ireland, that he did not believe membership of the European Union would have saved Iceland from the "financial hurricane" which triggered the country's financial meltdown last autumn and the collapse of its three biggest banks, noting EU membership had not saved Latvia's economy from shrinking an expected 18 percent this year. Furthermore he pointed out that the Irish economy was expected to shrink between 10.75 and 12 percent this year while the expected percentage in the case of Iceland was 10 percent.

Haarde in Dublin: Ireland worse than Iceland (Icenews.is June 22, 2009)
Irish GDP will shrink faster than Iceland's, says ex-PM (Independent.ie June 19, 2009)


EU membership talks considered a low priority

Entering membership negotiations with the European Union is not considered urgent by Icelanders according to the results of a new poll by Capacent Gallup for Heimss├Żn, the Icelandic No movement. Majority of those who take a stand believes that the government should make such negotiations either a low priority or a very low priority.

Only 42 percent believe it urgent to enter membership negotiations with the EU with only 22 percent seeing that as a high priority. On the other hand 44 percent think it should be a little or very little priority to start such negotiations with 32 percent claiming the latter.

At the same time an overwhelming majority says it is more important to solve the financial problems of Icelandic households, or 95 percent, and Icelandic companies, 92 percent.

The poll was carried out May 20-27 and 1284 people were polled.