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    People rally during a protest against the Icelandic government's decision not to start negotiations with the European Union about joining the bloc, in Reykjavik

    Iceland’s Opposition Calls For Referendum on EU Bid

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    According to Iceland's Pirate Party co-founder, the country's opposition has put forward a resolution calling for a national referendum on whether the citizens want to pursue EU membership.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik), Daria Chernyshova — The Icelandic opposition has put forward a resolution calling for a national referendum on the country’s bid to join the European Union, a co-founder of Iceland’s Pirate Party told Sputnik Wednesday.

    Last week, Iceland’s foreign minister announced that Reykjavik was no longer interested in pursuing EU membership.

    "The opposition has put forward a resolution calling for a national referendum on whether the Icelandic nation wants to carry on with the bid process or not," Birgitta Jonsdottir told Sputnik.

    Jonsdottir said that the statement of Iceland’s foreign minister has no legal value and the country is still pursuing EU membership.

    Last week, the country’s former Foreign Minister and current Social Democratic Alliance parliamentarian Ossur Skarphedinsson told Sputnik that the decision to drop the EU bid was unconstitutional as the government had tried to circumvent parliament.

    He said that the country’s opposition, including the Social-Democratic Alliance, the Left-Greens, the Pirate Party and Bright Future opposes the move and will not let it through the parliament.

    Iceland can leave the EU accession process only if parliament takes a resolution to nullify the original resolution on Iceland’s bid for EU membership, which has not been the case in this instance, Jonsdottir explained.

    Iceland submitted an application to the EU in 2009 in the wake of the financial crisis. Formal negotiations on Iceland’s accession to the European Union began in 2010. However, after the country’s 2013 elections, the coalition government of the Progressive and Independence parties decided not to pursue the bid, which sparked public protests.


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