Gylfi Arnbjörnsson, president of the Confederation of Labor (ASÍ), said the results of the parliamentary elections on Saturday indicate a clear demand from voters on European Union membership discussions.
The Social Democrats, which have declared that they want to apply for EU membership as soon as possible, received the most votes, 29.8 percent.
President of ASÍ Gylfi Arnbjörnsson. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.
Finnur Oddsson, managing director of the Iceland Chamber of Commerce, agrees with Arnbjörnsson as he told Morgunbladid. “A very large part of the employment market appears to be of the view that membership discussions are necessary.”
“No parties other than the Social Democrats support that,” Oddsson added. “I expect the Social Democrats to have received considerable adherence just because of that.”
Arnbjörnsson said that after the good work undertaken by the European committee of the Independence Party earlier this year, the party’s national convention managed to “screw up” a resolution on EU matters.
Arnbjörnsson stated that it was clear that many of the Independence Party’s voters turned to other parties because of this issue. “The opponents of [EU] membership were prominent during the national convention and therefore the party suffered a great loss.”
The Independence Party received 23.7 percent of the electorate and 16 seats in parliament, losing nine seats from the 2007 parliamentary elections.