Iceland's new government moves closer to joining EU

May 10, 2009 21:27

Iceland's new government said Sunday it will ask parliament to vote on whether the recession-hit country should start membership talks with the European Union. Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir said a bill authorizing accession talks would be introduced when Iceland's parliament, the Althingi, resumes sitting on Friday. Sigurdardottir and Finance Minister Steingrimur J. Sigfusson also introduced their new Cabinet, two weeks after their two party coalition won elections. Talks on forming a government had snagged on whether Iceland should seek to join the 27-nation EU, and potentially the euro - seen by many Icelanders as the country's best route out of financial crisis. Sigurdardottir's Social Democratic Alliance supports EU membership, while Sigfusson's Left Green Movement opposes it.

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