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CELAND 27 Apr 2013 Parliamentary election a possible verdict on EU accession

During the worst of Iceland’s banking crisis in 2008 enthusiasm for the European Union and for abandoning the krona for th

April 27, 2013 - NULL

CELAND 27 Apr 2013 Parliamentary election a possible verdict on EU accession

During the worst of Iceland's banking crisis in 2008 enthusiasm for the European Union and for abandoning the krona for the euro were high. The euro crisis has shaken confidence in the bloc as an economic safe haven, and polls show that the euroskeptic, conservative Independence Party and its probable coalition partner, the liberal Progressive Party, have the best chance in April of forming a governing coalition. The center-left governing coalition of the Social Democrats and the Left-Green party, led by Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, has

CELAND 27 Apr 2013 Parliamentary election a possible verdict on EU accession

During the worst of Iceland's banking crisis in 2008 enthusiasm for the European Union and for abandoning the krona for the euro were high. The euro crisis has shaken confidence in the bloc as an economic safe haven, and polls show that the euroskeptic, conservative Independence Party and its probable coalition partner, the liberal Progressive Party, have the best chance in April of forming a governing coalition. The center-left governing coalition of the Social Democrats and the Left-Green party, led by Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, has frozen continuing accession negotiations with Brussels ahead of the vote for the 63-seat unicameral legislature.

The center-left coalition swept to power in 2009 in the aftermath of a banking crisis that saw Iceland's three main commercial banks collapse in 2008 with liabilities of over 10 times the size of the country's annual GDP. According to the European Observer, Iceland's debt to GDP ratio soared from 25 per c ent in 2007 to 130 per cent in 2011 after needing an €8 billion euro (US $10.8 billion) bailout to avoid defaulting on its debts. The crisis crippled Iceland's economy, forced it to borrow money and wiped out people's savings and pensions. While the economy has since improved, confidence has not returned.

The Left Green party agreed to EU accession talks, but on condition that a referendum among the island's 320,000 people would determine the final say on membership.

Many blamed the Independence Party for creating the conditions, such as financial deregulation, that led to the collapse. (WRITTEN JAN 2013)

KEYWORDS: Iceland parliamentary election, April 2013, Iceland, European Union, Europe, Progressive Party, Social Democrats, Left-Green party, Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, Independence Party,

RELATED READING:

Iceland halts EU talks as elections loom (EU Observer 14 Jan 2013)
http://euobserver.com/news/118728

EU bid causes tension in Iceland government (EU Observer 14 Aug 2012)
http://euobserver.com/enlargement/117227

Iceland considers Canadian dollar instead of euro (EU Observer 15 Mar 2012)
http://euobserver.com/enlargement/115604

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Date written/update: 2013-04-27