The Left Green Movement must stick to the government pact which includes continued support for Iceland's application to join the European Union. If they do not that will mean the end of the current center-left government in Iceland led by the Social Democratic Alliance. This is the reaction by the leaders of Iceland's social democrats to claims from leading people within the Left Green Movement over the weekend that the application should be reconsidered.
The media in Iceland, including the state broadcaster RUV and the prominent newspaper Morgunblaðið, claim the majority of the Left Green MPs and government ministers are in favour of reconsidering the EU application. According to their platform the Left Greens are opposed to EU membership but the party allowed the application after the 2009 general elections in order to be able to form a government with the Social Democratic Alliance which is the only political party in Iceland that favours joining the EU.
The Left Greens have lost about half the votes they got in 2009 according to repeated opinion polls and fear facing the voters before the general elections scheduled next spring if they do not turn against the EU application. There are also growing calls among the social democrats that perhaps it would be wise to put the EU application on ice or even scrap it all together due to the unpopularity of the matter among the Icelandic electorate but at least 2/3 of them would reject joining the EU in a referendum according to opinion polls.
RUV talked to both Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Minister of Education, Science and Culture and vice-chairman of the Left Green Movement, and Svandís Svavarsdóttir, Minister for the Environment, who both claimed the EU application should be reconsidered. The state broadcaster also said it also got similar reactions from most of the MPs of the party.
According to RUV's news story the Left Greens are worried that their party will suffer greatly if they carry on allowing the EU accession process as they have done since 2009 when the application was delivered. They also claim that many things have changed since three years ago citing the eurozone economic problems and uncertainty where the EU is heading.
The policy of the Left Greens is opposition to EU membership but they allowed the application after the 2009 general elections in order to form a government with the Social Democratic Alliance, the only political party in Iceland favouring membership.
According to opinion polls in Iceland more than 2/3 would reject EU membership in a referendum but for the country to join the bloc it would first have to be accepted by a popular vote. Furthermore the Left Greens have lost half the votes they got in 2009 accoring to opinion polls.
RUV's news story (in Icelandic)