Friday, 14 December 2012

Will Iceland join the EU?

Iceland's president Olafur Ragnar Grimsson said in an interview with CNN that not only he considered that letting the country's banks fail to have been the right move, which has put the country in a better economic position than most EU members and particularly those of the eurozone are in, but he also would not hesitate to veto a parliamentary decision to seek EU membership (an unlikely event, given the way opinion is shifting in that country, as documented in this blog), "a promise he told CNN he had based five successful presidential runs on".

In particular, needless to say, Iceland is worried about the fisheries policy, having, no doubt, watched the destructive nature of the CFP in the UK, Ireland and other countries. The arguments about quotas have already started.

Ireland has called for the EU to impose sanctions against Iceland for over-fishing, and talks in September between Norway, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and the EU were inconclusive.

The Minister of Fishing and Agriculture, Steingrimur Sigfusson, said the dispute has called into question whether Iceland wants to become an EU member.

"These negotiations have been delayed, partly because of disputes like the mackerel," he said. "It's becoming increasingly difficult to continue, and needless to say, sanctions or things like that, would be very detrimental to the atmosphere."

On the whole, it is beginning to look like Iceland does not want to become an EU member. What would they gain?


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