Five MPs of the Left-Green Movement have declared that they will vote against the parliamentary resolution on launching membership discussions with the European Union, which Foreign Minister Össur Skarphédinsson will submit to parliament in the coming days.
Photo of Thingvellir national park by Páll Stefánsson.
“We made this disclaimer so that it would be clear to everyone that the Left-Green parliamentary group would not be taken for granted,” Thurídur Backman, one of the Left-Green MPs who plans to vote against the resolution, told Fréttabladid.
Backman, along with Jón Bjarnason, who has just been appointed minister of fisheries and agriculture, Lilja Rafney Magnúsdóttir, Ásmundur Einar Dadason and Atli Gíslason announced their intention during the Left-Green parliamentary group meeting on Saturday.
The MPs denied that they had formed a special alliance against EU membership within the Left-Green parliamentary group, stating that the other nine Left-Green MPs are not in favor of applying for EU membership either.
Yesterday, the Social Democrat Alliance and the Left-Green Movement formed the first left-wing government in Iceland’s history, with the aim of creating a Nordic welfare society in Iceland, as Finance Minister and chairman of the Left-Greens Steingrímur J. Sigfússon said while announcing the new government at a press conference.
Chairman of the Progressive Party Sigmundur Davíd Gunnlaugsson told Fréttabladid that this coalition is among the most “sorrowful” in the republic’s history, referring to the government’s decision to let the opposition decide whether or not to launch membership discussions with the EU.
Party group chairwoman of the Civic Movement Birgitta Jónsdóttir said that having parliament decide whether membership discussions should take place is the best possible solution, while vice-chair of the Independence Party Thorgerdur Katrín Gunnarsdóttir commented that this decision indicates that the ruling parties are unable to reach conclusions on matters concerning the EU.
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