Icelandic government gives answers to EU questions

The Icelandic government has delivered its answers to a total of 2,500 questions about Iceland, its economy, politics and society in general to the European Union. The answers are a part of the Iceland's accession process. The government was in a great hurry to deliver the answers and denied a popular demand in Iceland that the questions and the answers to them would be translated into Icelandic so all Icelanders could examine them regardsless of knowledge in languages. The questions and answers were in English but according to critics not in any ordinary English but a kind of a Brussels-beaurocratic version of it.

The government had previously promised that the whole acession process would be transparent and the Icelandic people would be kept informed about every step of it. This is not seen by critics as a good start. It might be mentioned that among those who called for an Icelandic translation of the questions and the answers were organisations of both those in favour of EU membership and those who reject it


Finance Minister: Icelanders don't want to join the EU

Steingrímur J. Sigfússon, Iceland's Minister of Finance and chairman of the junior coalition partner the Left Green Movement, said on Tuesday (October 27) at the Nordic Council’s 61st Session in Stockholm that although his government had applied to join the European Union the Icelandic people didn't want to become members. Sigfússon was responding to a question directed to him about the situation of Iceland's EU application.

Spurð um afstöðu Íslands til ESB (Ríkisútvarpið October 27, 2009)


Majority of Icelanders don't want the euro or the EU

The majority of Icelanders don't want to adopt the euro or join the European Union according to the results of a new opinion poll published yesterday (October 24). The poll was produced by the company Miðlun for the news website Pressan.is. The question asked was: "What currency arrangement do you think would best suit Iceland?" Some 55 percent wanted a policy which does not involve EU membership.

Only 24 percent said they though Iceland should adopt the euro by first joining the EU. However, 26 percent said they thought it was best for Iceland to keep its own currency, the króna. Some 29 percent said Iceland should adopt a foreign currency unilaterally, of those only 9 percent wanted the euro. Finally 21 percent were undecided.

If the undecided are excluded some 70 percent of Icelanders do not want to adopt the euro by joining the EU. Only about 30 percent are in favour of that. Even if the 9 percent who want the euro unilaterally are put together with those who want the single currency by first joining the EU it only slightly alters the picture.

On September 15 the results of a poll produced by Capacent for the Federation of Icelandic Industries were published in Iceland showing some 50 percent of Icelanders opposed to joining the EU and 33 percent in favour. The new poll for Pressan.is suggests opposition to EU membership has grown since.

The opinion poll for Pressan.is was carried out September 29 - October 15 and a total of 760 people were polled.

Mjög skiptar skoðanir um gengisfyrirkomulag - fjórðungur vill halda krónunni (Pressan.is October 24, 2009)
Fleiri andvígir en hlynntir ESB-aðild (Morgunblaðið September 15, 2009)


Growing worries in Brussels?

The Icelandic newspaper Morgunblaðið reports today (October 8) that according to its sources there are growing worries in Brussels that the Icelandic application for membership of the European Union delivered this summer will meet the same fate as the Norwegian applications. Norway has twice applied to join the EU, in 1972 and again in 1994, but membership was on both occasion rejected  in a referendum.

Hostility in Iceland towards EU membership has probably never been as much as now. This can both be seen from the public debate in the country as well as in repeated opinion polls over the last several months. According to Morgunblaðið the EU has people stationed in Iceland with the task of translating everything concerning the debate on the application which has led to these growing worries.