Iceland may be a small country, but when it comes to dealing with big problems it is truly the modern equivalent of David in the battle against the status quo Goliath. First, it was Iceland, and only Iceland, refusing to bail out its banks, when every other western nation was being held hostage by those who stood to lose the most from a financial collapse, and even going so far as throwing some of its banking executives in prison. And now, as MBL reports, Iceland's conservative Independence Party will support a resolution in parliament to formally withdraw Iceland's application to join the European Union.
As MBL further reports, yhis was confirmed today by Bjarni Benediktsson, Minister of Finance and the party's chairman, in an interview with the state broadcaster RÚV.
The EU accession talks were put on hold after the general elections in April 2013. The elections resulted in the Independence Party and the centrist Progress Party forming a coalition government backed by 38 MPs out of 63 in total. Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson said earlier this month that he expected a resolution withdrawing the EU application to be put to the parliament soon and Foreign Minister Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, who as Gunnlaugsson belongs to the Progress Party, has said it would be senseless not to withdraw the application. If anything Sveinsson has said there are more arguments for doing so now than a year ago.
The government put such a resolution to the parliament last year but the matter was not concluded before summer recess. Mainly because of a filibusted which was staged by the opposition calling for a referendum on the issue. As a consequence the government decided to postpone the matter as it considered more pressing to get other issues accepted. Primarily laws paving the way for a government program to reduce household debts.
"This is a resolution which we supported last year," Benediktsson said adding that nothing had changed since then. Asked if that meant the conservatives would support a resolution to withdraw the EU application he replied: "Yes, we would do that just like we did last time."
So yes, dear Greece: as you prepare for elections whih may result in the first official departure of a European country from the Eurozone, not only has Iceland shown that one can voluntarily not seek to be part of the "greater European good", but in fact voluntarily seek to not be part of said good.
And the cherry on top: as recently as 2013 the country was growing at over 5%: a rate unmatched anywhere in Europe, and on par with the latest annualized US GDP. The one difference, however, is that Iceland does not mandate the "GDP-boosting" and middle-class impoverishing Obamcare.