Ex-Foreign Minister: Iceland Should Put Off EU Talks Skip to content

Ex-Foreign Minister: Iceland Should Put Off EU Talks

Former Minister for Foreign Affairs Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir said in an interview with the Financial Times in Germany that it is better to postpone accession talks with the European Union than to continue in uncertainty about where they’re headed.

Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.

Gísladóttir, who as former chairwoman of the Social Democrats has campaigned for EU membership, said she doubts Iceland’s membership to the EU will be approved in a national referendum. No one is eager to enter the EU right now and to promote

membership is likely to prove unpopular, she argued, according to ruv.is.

Gísladóttir stated she isn’t concerned that she will face charges because of her role in the banking collapse of October 2008. As a foreign minister she didn’t have much to do with the financial sector, she explained, adding that the prime minister and the ministers of finance and economic affairs knew more than she did.

Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir, the current chairwoman of the Social Democrats, told mbl.is that she disagrees with her former associate’s evaluation of the situation of the EU talks. “I am not as pessimistic as Ingibjörg Sólrún,” she commented.

Sigurdardóttir said she is aware that support for EU membership has decreased in Iceland, among other reasons because people are mixing the EU application up with unrelated matters like Icesave and the International Monetary Fund’s bailout package.

“I believe that as this matter progresses we will be able to introduce it more thoroughly […] and then support for membership will grow,” the prime minister predicted.

Click here to read the interview with Gísladóttir in German and here to read more about Iceland and the EU.

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