Most Icelanders Against Joining EU

15.10.2012
Words by Paul Fontaine
A new poll shows that nearly 60% of Icelanders are opposed to joining the European Union, with whom they are currently in accession talks.

While Iceland's Social Democrat/Leftist-Green coalition applied to join the EU in the summer of 2009, and the country is currently in accession talks with the organisation, convincing Icelanders themselves has proven difficult. In fact, at no time since the application to join was submitted have the majority of Icelanders favoured accession.

That trend continues, Vísir reports, as a new Gallup poll shows that 57.6% of Icelanders are opposed to joining the EU.

The poll was conducted on behalf of Heimssýn, which describes itself as "Iceland’s 'No to EU' movement". Only 27.3% of respondents said they favoured joining, while 15% had no opinion. If only those who had an opinion are counted, 68% would be opposed and 32% would be in favour.

1,450 Icelanders were sent via e-mail the question "Are you in favour of or opposed to Iceland joining the European Union?" 848 responded, comprising 58.5% of those who were asked.

The EU is having its own difficulties with Iceland, too. Iceland and the EU are currently in the fishing rights phase of accession talks, and mackerel fishing is proving particularly contentious. Last month, European Union parliament approved a number of punitive measures against Iceland and the Faeroe Islands, claiming those two countries are overfishing mackerel stocks.

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