Prime Minister of Norway Jens Stoltenberg, who arrived in Iceland last week, ruled out a monetary union between Iceland and Norway after a meeting with Iceland’s new Central Banker Svein Harald Oeygard on Friday.
Stoltenberg pointed out that the Norwegian króna is Norway’s national currency and stated that it could therefore not be adopted by other nations, Morgunbladid reports.
The Icelandic króna. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.
Iceland’s Minister of Finance Steingrímur J. Sigfússon has expressed interest in pegging the Icelandic króna to the Norwegian króna and he discussed his idea of a monetary union between Iceland and Norway with his Norwegian counterpart, Kristin Halvorsen, during her recent visit to Iceland.
However, Norway is prepared to help their Icelandic cousins to strengthen their currency, banking system and economy, Stoltenberg added. It will then be in the hands of Icelanders whether they want to adopt the euro through EU membership.
“It would naturally have an impact on us. Then the European Union would be even larger with Norway and Lichtenstein being the only EFTA members left,” Stoltenberg said.
Stoltenberg pointed out that Norway is the only country in Europe that had launched negotiations with the EU, been accepted as a member state and then rejected membership twice in a referendum. “So Norway joining the EU is not on today’s agenda.”
Stoltenberg himself supports EU membership for Norway, as he said in an interview with RÚV’s news magazine Kastljós on Thursday last week.