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Centre-left on course to win Icelandic election

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Centre-left on course to win Icelandic election

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Iceland appears set to stick with the caretaker centre-left government that is trying to steer the country out of economic crisis.

The coalition of Social Democrats and a Left-Green alliance is ahead in the polls going into Saturday’s election. They may win enough to turn their minority government into a majority one. It comes three months after the conservative administration was derailed by the country’s financial meltdown. The prime minister says the answer to Iceland’s problems lies in EU membership and joining the euro. Negotiations with Brussels are already planned. “We shouldn’t fear the outcome of a referendum,” Prime Minister Johana Sigurdardottir said. However, many Icelanders remain fiercely proud of their independence and are opposed to joining the EU or the euro. The centre-right Independence Party, which has dominated political life since World War Two, was heading for third place on less than 24 percent. Its policies of banking deregulation and promotion of financial services are seen as a big factors in the economic collapse.