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    Iceland to formally withdraw EU membership application

    The Prime Min­is­ter of Ice­land, Sig­mundur Davið Gunnlaugs­son, ex­pects a res­o­lu­tion to be put for­ward soon in the Ice­landic par­lia­ment to for­mally with­draw the coun­try’s ap­pli­ca­tion to join the Eu­ro­pean Union. Gunnlaugs­son said this in an in­ter­view at the Ice­landic ra­dio sta­tion Byl­g­jan on Sun­day. He also said steps to­wards re­mov­ing the cap­i­tals con­trols, in place in Ice­land since the fi­nan­cial cri­sis hit his coun­try in the au­tumn of 2008, would likely be taken in this month.

    Responding in the context of a Greek general election, UKIP leader Nigel Farage today said: “This move by Icelandic authorities and the increasing Mediterranean opposition to the EU shows that the idea of the inevitability of EU integration has been smashed. More and more people throughout Europe either no longer wish to join the EU or, as in Greece, to leave the Euro currency all together. Because Iceland had its own currency it could successfully bounce back from a financial crisis. Greece and other Mediterranean countries are  caught inside the straightjacket of an unsuitable Euro currency and unsympathetic political union dominated by Germany. Encouraged by this Icelandic move, Greece should decouple from the euro, devalue its currency and grow its way back to prosperity with exports and tourism.”