Organizers of previous pro-EU rallies are planning further protests in response to news that Icelandic Minister for Foreign Affairs Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson is going to present a resolution on terminating the Iceland-European Union accession talks shortly.
Gunnar Bragi confirmed in an interview on Bylgjan radio program Bítið this morning that both coalition parties, the Progressive Party, of which he is member, and the Independence Party, agree that the talks should be terminated. The minister believes that the majority of MPs will vote in favor of the resolution.
Alþingi, the Icelandic parliament, reconvened today for its spring session following the Christmas break.
Chair of pro-EU association Já, Ísland Jón Steindór Valdimarsson stated that the resolution will be met with strong opposition—even though the majority of MPs may favor it, the majority of the nation is against it, he claimed.
“We have heard about what is being planned and we are preparing. We didn’t want to believe that people are about to embark on such an adventure again but we will not sit by in silence, no less than when they first made the attempt. We find it strange that people won’t take a lesson from it, the protests and the signatures that were submitted,” Jón commented.
A resolution on the same topic was first presented at Alþingi in the autumn of 2013 but ended up not being handled by the parliament.
Jón pointed out that the speaker of parliament a representatives of all parties in parliament accepted a petition with signatures of people urging MPs to organize a national referendum on whether to continue accession talks with the EU.
“These were 53,555 signatures or 22.1 percent of eligible voters in Iceland. People have said … that the limit for holding a referendum should be ten to 15 percent. We exceed that by far. Surveys have shown time and time again that people want to see this through … An overwhelming majority wants to conclude the talks,” Jón maintained.
In a recent MMR survey, 68 percent of respondents stated that they wanted the accession talks with the EU to continue.