A steadily increasing number of MPs within the Independence Party, of which Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde is chairman, believe that Iceland needs to adopt a new currency and that the party’s attitude towards EU membership should be reviewed.
Leadership of the Independence Party; Prime Minister and chairman Geir H. Haarde (left) and Minister of Education and vice-chairman Thorgerdur Katrín Gunnarsdóttir (right). Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.
A special committee within the Independence Party is currently looking into the pros and cons of EU membership for Iceland and will present their findings at the party’s general meeting in January, Morgunbladid reports.
On Saturday, two Independence Party MPs, Illugi Gunnarsson and Bjarni Benediktsson, wrote in an article in Fréttabladid that, “The special circumstances that we currently face call for the entire nation participating in a decision on this important issue following discussions on [EU] membership.”
Foreign Minister and chairman of the Social Democrats Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir indicated in an interview with RÚV radio station Rás 1 on Saturday, that if the Independence Party comes to the conclusion in its general meeting in January that Iceland should not join the EU, then the Independence Party-Social Democrat coalition will automatically be terminated.
“I believe that if that is their conclusion at the beginning of next year, that we will not apply for EU membership, then I find it highly likely that we will have elections,” Gísladóttir said.
“Then we would have a situation where the coalition parties have completely different monetary policies and look at the projects ahead in completely different ways,” the foreign minister added in explanation.
Independence Party MP, and chairman of the party’s European committee, Kristján Thór Júlíusson, said Gísladóttir’s attitude will not influence the committee’s work.
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