World Bulletin / News Desk
In an interview with the Fair Observer, Icelandic Foreign Minister Jon Hannibalsson lists the reasons for why Iceland will not join the EU.
Even though formal negotiations on Iceland’s accession to the EU began in 2010, after the country’s 2013 elections, the coalition government of the Progressive and Independence parties decided not to pursue the bid. He said that it was not only the extreme left, but also the right and the right of center who were against the membership - parties which are traditionally speakers to the two most powerful special interest groups in the country: the ship-owners’ lobby and the farmers’ association.
The ship-owners have been given monopoly rights to utilize the fish stocks within the Icelandic exclusive economic zone. Those monopoly rights have been given out without a fee, despite the law declaring the fish stocks to be the common property of the nation.
The ship-owners’ lobby have fought hard against the proposal, saying that the fishing rights be auctioned to the highest bidder. They also consitently pour money into scare campaigns maintaining that, if inside the EU, foreign capital would buy up all the fishing rights. This sort of propaganda is effective in the fishing villages along the coast. Icelandic farmers, along with their Japanese and Norwegian colleagues, are heavily subsidized and their income comes from tax-payers through the state budget.
Ultimately the decision to halt the process is a political one, supported by the majority of Icelanders.Last Mod: 05 Şubat 2015, 17:51