The EU application has no support in Iceland

Bjarni Benediktsson, the chairman of the conservative Independence Party (Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn), said at a meeting today with fellow partymembers that the current left-wing government had proven unable to advance its application for membership of the European Union. He said the government was stuck in a vicious circle when it came to the EU issue which it couldn't get out of.

Benediktsson, who's party leads the opposition, criticised the government for spending enourmous time, manpower and money on the application for EU membership despite the fact that the issue has no political leadership and doesn't have the support of the Icelandic people. Furthermore, he said there was no majority for membership in the Icelandic parliament and not even within the government itself.

Bjarni vill að landsfundi verði flýtt (Vísir.is April 17, 2010)

Further reading:
Does Iceland want to join the EU?
How serious is Iceland about joining the EU?


The Social Democratic Alliance split in three on the EU issue

Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir and Foreign Minister Össur Skarphéðinsson have both dismissed the comments from Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir, former FM and chairman of the Social Democratic Alliance (Samfylkingin), that it would perhaps be better to postpone Iceland's EU application in the light of the Icelandic people's massive opposition to membership. Sigurðardóttir, the current chairman of the social democrats, said she was not as pessimistic as her predecessor.

What the comments by Gísladóttir, however, reveal is that the Social Democratic Alliance, Iceland's only pro-EU party, is totally split on the EU issue (former FM Gísladóttir represents a certain wing within the party), but now not only between those who want to join and those who don't want to (between 20-30 percent of the voters of the party usually reject membership according to the polls). Now the supporthers of EU membership within the party are also split in two, those who want to proceed with the present application and those who think it would be better to postpone the whole issue.

Fráleitt að fresta viðræðum við ESB (Vísir.is April 10, 2010)


Former FM: No one is fighting for EU membership in Iceland

Former Foreign Minister of Iceland, Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir, said to the German journalist Clemens Bomdorf yesterday (April 8) that no one was really fighting for membership of the European Union in Iceland any longer. Membership would probably be rejected in a referendum and it was therefore even better to postpone the EU application rather than to continue the process in total uncertainty.

Gísladóttir is one of the most outspoken supporters of EU membership in Iceland and former chairman of the Social Democratic Alliance, the only political party in Iceland that favours membership. With these comments she joins a growing number of EU supporters in Iceland that have openly aired their worries about the EU application and predicted that it will be rejected by the Icelandic people.

Betra að fresta ESB-viðræðum en halda þeim áfram í óvissu (Mbl.is April 9, 2010)
Stolz und Vorurteil (Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir 3) (Highnorth.wordpress.com April 8, 2010)