Poll Shows Majority of Icelanders Want EU Referendum Skip to content

Poll Shows Majority of Icelanders Want EU Referendum

By Erik Pomrenke

Danish Embassy
Photo: Golli.
Hótel Breiðdalsvík

A recent poll from market research company Maskína indicates that a significant majority of the nation is in favour of a referendum on EU membership next election. Vísir reports.

Maskína conducted the poll between June 12 and 20. Of the respondents, 54.3% were in favour of Iceland joining the EU. Additionally, a significant majority, 74.2% of respondents, considered it important for a referendum to held on further negotiations on EU membership.

Decisive results

In an interview with Vísir, former Prime Minister Þorsteinn Pálsson called the results decisive, but not surprising.

“[The results make] it clear, in my opinion, that this issue can no longer be kept off the political agenda,” he stated.

“Of course, no one knows in advance what the outcome will be, but it is crucial that the next government, which will have to undertake substantial reconstruction efforts and set a new course for Iceland, knows from day one where the voters stand on this significant issue,” Þorsteinn said to Vísir. “This is a question of equal opportunities, that everyone should take this step. People also see in Britain that Brexit was to blow up the European Union but ultimately blew up the British Resistance Party. The European Union has never been stronger and the economy in the UK and British homes will be poorer because they left.”

Read more: The Króna and the Euro

The recent poll additionally showed that 66.8% of respondents believed that households would be better off under the EU. A significant factor at play is of course the Icelandic króna, one of the smallest currencies in the world. If Iceland were to join the EU fully, it could also mean adoption of the Euro. Adopting the Euro could mean, among other things, that Icelandic homeowners would have access to mortgages at more favourable rates. Notably, many Icelandic businesses already choose to keep their books in Euro, given its stability and more favourable loans.

Parliamentary elections are scheduled for next year.

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