Iceland seeks 'closure' over stalled EU membership talks

Although most Icelanders are sceptical about their country's future within the EU, they seek a closure on the matter by supporting a referendum.

Iceland seeks 'closure' over stalled EU membership talks

World Bulletin / News Desk

A possible victory for Iceland's leftwing and centrist opposition in Saturday's snap election has brought the issue of stalled European Union membership talks back to life. 

Britain's vote to leave the EU has not inspired 332,000 Icelanders to change the status quo in their country, which overcame the 2008 financial crisis and whose GDP is expected to rise by more than 4 percent in 2016. 

"There is no indication that Brexit is having any influence whatsoever... those who are hardliners on the 'no' side, they are of course kind of joyful," Olafur Hardarson, professor of political science at the University of Iceland, told AFP. 

"But for the ordinary voter, I don’t think it makes a difference," he added. 

"I don't want to go in the (European) Union... when the British are going out," said Nanna, a 60-year-old customs officer who did not give her family name. 

"I don't know what the union stands for now that the British are out." 

After the financial crisis, Iceland, which is heavily reliant on its fishing industry, launched EU membership negotiations in 2009 amid a perceived need for political and monetary security. 

But a "mackerel war" between Reykjavik and Brussels saw Iceland unilaterally increase its catch quota at the end of 2010, prompting rising pressure from the European Commission, which accused the island nation of overfishing.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Ekim 2016, 16:27