The chairman of the foreign affairs committee of the Icelandic parliament, Árni Þór Sigurðsson, told the Icelandic media yesterday that he thought that Iceland's accession to the European Union should be slowed down until after the general elections scheduled in April next year and even put aside.
Sigurðsson is an MP for the Left Green Movement and a senior member of the party which forms the current Icelandic government with the Social Democratic Alliance. The SDA is the only political party in Iceland that favours EU membership.
He stressed that this was so far only an opinion and no decision had been made on the matter. However, this was directly liked to similar opinions raised last autumn by himself and a couple of Left Green ministers in the government.
Sigurðsson also said that after the elections in April a newly elected parliament could then possibly take a new decision whether to continue with the accession process or not. His comments are seen by many as a desperate move because of the elections.
The Left Green leadership decided to allow the EU application in 2009 in order to form a government with the social democrats despite the fact their party is opposed to membership according to its platform. The decision has among other things resulted in the Left Greens loosing about haft the votes they got in the last elections according to polls.
Meanwhile, primaries of the political parties so far are seen as suggesting that the next parliament will be more eurosceptic than the current one. Egill Helgason, a talk show host on the national broadcaster RÚV and a known supporter of EU membership, wrote on his blog in November:
"As we get results from more primaries and the forming of lists of candidates EU membership for Iceland becomes more distant. If it would have been hard to get it through the current parliament it will be almost impossible at the next one."
Vast majority of Icelanders oppose EU membership and have according to every opinion poll published in Iceland for more than three years. The majority also does not want to adopt the euro and wants the EU application withdrwan.
Ferlið jafnvel lagt til hliðar (Mbl.is December 6, 2012)
ESB-aðildin fjarlægist í prófkjörum (Eyjan.is November 26, 2012)
Majority wants to scrap the EU application
Majority against EU membership for three years
Iceland's business leaders reject EU membership
Iceland's industry turns against EU membership
67 percent would reject EU membership