Former editor slams Iceland’s EU “mess”

Styrmir Gunnarsson.

Styrmir Gunnarsson. Photo: RAX

A former editor of Icelandic national daily Morgunblaðið has criticised the government for failing to honour its electoral promise on a referendum on talks to join the European Union (EU).

“Does my memory fail me or did the current government promise before the last general elections in 2013 that the public would be consulted on this issue if they came to power?” Styrmir Gunn­ars­son­ writes in a blog post on the subject (link in Icelandic).

Now that the current term of office is over half-way completed, Gunn­ars­son­ doubts the pledge will be honoured and warns that voters will lose trust in electoral promises made by the two coalition parties in the future.

He also criticises the government’s handling of attempts to withdraw Iceland’s EU application and the recent declarations of Icelandic Finance Minister, Bjarni Benediktsson.

“As far as I am concerned, there is no active Icelandic application for membership of the European Union,” said Benediktsson recently.

Iceland’s message was not clear enough, says Gunn­ars­son­, and Benediktsson’s words are no more than an attempt to “defend the mess the government has made of withdrawing Iceland’s EU application”.

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