Following what has been a rather tumultuous period for the country after the collapse of their banking system, the volcano eruptions and the ensuing crises, the Icelandic government finally had reason to be pleased as they began the formal talks on accession to the EU this month. The opening of negotiations comes just a year after the country officially applied for membership but despite this relatively positive start, the process will not be without obstacles. The Dutch and British governments want Iceland to refund the €3.9 billion paid in compensation following the collapse of the Icesave bank before they accede to the EU, but repayment talks have thus far been unsuccessful. The country’s pro-whaling stance and fishing policies are also foreseen as areas of difficulty. In addition, not all Icelanders will see the opening of negotiations as good news, with almost 60% wanting their government to withdraw the country’s application, according to an opinion poll carried out in June by Capacent Gallup.
Photo : Flickr, erjkprunczyk