Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Iceland's President opposes EU membership

Well, well, well. Iceland has re-elected Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson to the presidency on around 53 per cent of the vote, well ahead of Þóra Arnórsdóttir, who got 33 per cent. A remarkable result, considering this is Mr Grímsson's fifth term. There is, we are told, a good reason for it.
One of the biggest issues debated in the election campaign was whether Iceland should join the European Union or not. Grímsson confirmed early in the campaign that he was absolutely opposed to EU membership while Arnórsdóttir refused to make her opinion on the matter public. She nevertheless said that joining the EU under the current circumstances was like renting a room in a burning building.
Political analysts in Iceland have generally agreed that Grímsson's opposition to EU membership did much to secure his victory while at the same time claims that Arnórsdóttir favoured joining the bloc did not help her campaign. It was e.g. pointed out that she had been active in the European Movement Iceland in the 90s.
What is so odd is that there are still people who consider it a good idea for Iceland to get on this sinking boat.

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