Iceland Slows Down EU Membership Talks
Iceland began EU membership talks in July 2010 and has now opened talks in 27 of the EU's 35 policy areas and completed 11. Photo by EPA/BGNES
Iceland's government agreed to slow down talks on joining the European Union as it prepares for parliamentary elections on April 27, according to a statement from the prime minister's office.
The government, formed by the Social Democrats and the Left-Green Party and which is lagging in opinion polls, said no talks on new policy areas with the EU would be opened. Negotiations under way would continue, but no decisions would be made.
"The coming months will be marked by the upcoming parliamentary elections in Iceland," the government said.
"In the light of this, it will best serve Iceland's interests to safeguard Iceland's position in a responsible manner," it added in a statement.
Most Icelanders oppose continuing the membership bid and want the island's government to withdraw it, according to a November Capacent Gallup poll.
The poll showed that 53.5 percent of voters don't want to proceed with the application, compared with 36.4 percent who want the island to finish the discussions.
Iceland began EU membership talks in July 2010 and has now opened talks in 27 of the EU's 35 policy areas and completed 11.
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