Iceland’s new government says it will ask parliament to vote on whether the country should apply for EU membership.
Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir said her left-wing coalition would introduce a resolution after the newly-elected assembly meets for the first time this Friday. The cabinet is deeply divided over EU accession, but Sigurdardottir says she is confident that a majority in parliament will back the plan. Support for EU talks has soared since Iceland’s once-booming financial sector crumbled last October, forcing many of the country’s 320,000 inhabitants out of their jobs. The conservative government was forced to resign in January amid massive public protests over the crisis. Some think EU membership is the best way to avoid a repeat of those events, but others fear Iceland would lose its fishing rights, damaging the large and influential sea-going industry.