Some 63% of Iceland’s population do not want the country to withdraw its application to join the EU, according to a poll published in the daily paper Frettabladid on Friday. The Islandic government announced it was withdrawing its application on March 12th, arguing that “Iceland’s interests are better served outside the EU.” But this decision is illegal in the eyes of the opposition, as neither the parliament nor the people were given an opportunity to vote.
According to this survey, 44% of people polled were “completely against” the government’s initiative, and 19% were “rather against.” 15% were “completely in favour” and 9% “rather in favour.” 13% stated they had “no opinion” on the matter.
7,000 Icelanders took part in a protest march organised in Reykjavik on Sunday, which represents a very high level of mobilisation for this small country.
The centre-right majority was elected on a Euro-sceptic platform in 2013, but never quite managed to gather a majority of MPs to block the application process, as some felt a referendum was needed. Most Icelanders disapprove of the idea of submitting fishermen to European quotas. The fishing issue was never mentioned in the negotiations between Reykjavik and Brussels between June 211 and January 2013.
The survey took place on March 18th and 19th and 801 people were polled. Iceland has a total population of 330,000.
Oscar Schneider (Source: Belga)