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Iceland Want To Pull Out Of Europe

Iceland has gained a reputation for being a small country with big balls. They were the only country to refuse to bail out its bank during the banking crisis of 2008 . Now Iceland’s conservative Independence Party is supporting a Parliament resolution to withdraw Iceland’s application to join the European Union. Iceland is effectively waving goodbye to Europe. 

Bjarni Benediktsson, Iceland’s Minister of Finance, confirmed in an interview:

The EU ac­ces­sion talks were put on hold af­ter the gen­eral elec­tions in April 2013. The elec­tions re­sulted in the In­de­pen­dence Party and the cen­trist Progress Party form­ing a coali­tion gov­ern­ment backed by 38 MPs out of 63 in to­tal. Prime Min­is­ter Sig­mundur Davíð Gunnlaugs­son said ear­lier this month that he ex­pected a res­o­lu­tion with­draw­ing the EU ap­pli­ca­tion to be put to the par­lia­ment soon and For­eign Min­is­ter Gun­nar Bragi Sveins­son, who as Gunnlaugs­son be­longs to the Progress Party, has said it would be sense­less not to with­draw the ap­pli­ca­tion. If any­thing Sveins­son has said there are more ar­gu­ments for do­ing so now than a year ago.

The gov­ern­ment put such a res­o­lu­tion to the par­lia­ment last year but the mat­ter was not con­cluded be­fore sum­mer re­cess. Mainly be­cause of a fil­i­busted which was staged by the op­po­si­tion call­ing for a ref­er­en­dum on the is­sue. As a con­se­quence the gov­ern­ment de­cided to post­pone the mat­ter as it con­sid­ered more press­ing to get other is­sues ac­cepted. Pri­mar­ily laws paving the way for a gov­ern­ment pro­gram to re­duce house­hold debts.

“This is a res­o­lu­tion which we sup­ported last year,” Benedik­ts­son said adding that noth­ing had changed since then. Asked if that meant the con­ser­v­a­tives would sup­port a res­o­lu­tion to with­draw the EU ap­pli­ca­tion he replied: “Yes, we would do that just like we did last time.”

Iceland’s economy continues to grow in strength. In 2013 growth was at over 5% – unheard of anywhere else in Europe.

Will other European countries sit up and take note? Comment below to let us know what you think.

Sean Adl-Tabatabai
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Sean Adl-Tabatabai
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