Iceland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs says he is emphasising in Iceland’s EU accession talks that the Icelandic krona must be propped up by the European Central Bank immediately after Icelandic membership of the European Union and until Iceland adopts the euro, if and when that happens. The minister added that accession talks are likely to take longer than optimists had hoped.
Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ossur Skarphedinsson told Visir.is that he believes direct negotiations over agriculture could begin by next Easter and direct fisheries negotiations as early as next autumn. These are the two areas of negotiation everybody agrees will be the hardest.
The most optimistic voices had been saying Iceland’s accession talks could be over within 18 months because the country already adheres to 70 percent of EU laws; but this time frame now seems highly unlikely.
Although he expects a long, hard accession process; Ossur Skarphedinsson remains optimistic the process will be completed before the next elections.
Skarphedinsson says that Icelandic euro membership would save the nation over ISK 100 billion a year in supporting the weak krona. He is also adamant that the EU’s popularity will increase in Iceland as public knowledge and understanding of it increases during the negotiation process.