Shock: Iceland Defies EU, Freezes Membership Bid
By Staff News & Analysis - June 17, 2013

"We are going to do it our way, this is our decision," Sveinsson, 45, said in an interview in Brussels today. "This government is not going to keep on pushing forward this application. At some time, there will be a referendum, but I cannot tell you when and by whom." EU leaders had celebrated the prospect of welcoming Iceland — a developed nation where the economy grew 1.6 percent in 2012 — as a sign the bloc's appeal isn't limited to poorer nations in the south. Iceland's snub changes that. "It was not easy for me as a person" to learn of the new mood in Reykjavik, EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule said after meeting Sveinsson last night. He urged the government in Reykjavik not to take "unlimited time" on its EU options… – News of Iceland

Dominant Social Theme: A little bump in the road.

Free-Market Analysis: The mainstream press was in full cry over Edward Snowden late last week, but there was big news regarding Iceland and the EU.

Iceland's new government is no more apt to speed an entry into the EU than previous administrations. Representatives reaffirmed a decision to halt efforts to join the European Union. Reasons included worries over control of Iceland's resources and the continued euro crisis.

Foreign Minister Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson would not commit to EU pleas either for a rapid referendum on joining the EU or on restarting the process. It is not clear why Eurocrats would want a referendum anyway when fully three-quarters of Iceland residents are against joining, according to polls.

But the continued "freeze" is certainly stoking fears in Brussels. The myth of EU invincibility is shattering on Iceland's stubborn, frozen shores. That is all but unacceptable. It is the reason the Eurocrats made Irish voters vote twice on a constitutional treaty, until they "got it right." And why they have continued to inflict "austerity" on the ruined economies of Spain and Greece.

Now the EU no longer appears to be the overwhelming force that brooks no resistance. Here's how the EU Observer put it:

The main purpose of the trip [to Brussels] had been "to tell the commission that the new government has made decision to put negotiations on hold. "We are part of Europe and want to strengthen our relationship in other ways," [Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson] added.

Speaking during a frosty press conference with reporters on Thursday (13 June), Stefan Fule, the Czech commissioner responsible for EU membership bids, admitted that Iceland's decision was a personal blow.

"It was not easy for me as a person (to take the decision)," said Fule. But he added: "I am also a professional and I respect without any questions and any doubt, the will of elected representative and citizens".

The EU has suffered so many reversals at this point that we have lost count. The euro itself has proven to be a disaster, sinking half of Europe. Germany faces a constitutional crisis over ECB inflating – on the backs of the "Fatherland," of course. And most recently, the British Tories, pushed into a corner, agreed to set up an actual referendum on the issue of whether or not the Brits should stay in the union.

Absent a miracle (of the worst kind) citizens of Iceland surely won't be part of a Charlemagne's neo-empire, one built in secret and foisted on 300 million people without their consent.

The corruption, political backstabbing, ever-escalating regional costs, job-sapping regulations, authoritarian Napoleonic justice (guilty until proven innocent) and all the rest is not to be strapped to the backs of weary Icelandic citizens.

They continue to say "no." They won't be rushed. The clear implication is that they are through. Both parties are anti-EU. Perhaps this is a watershed moment. Perhaps indeed this will be seen historically as the high-water mark of this wretched "experiment."

After Thoughts

Perhaps the tide will gradually recede now.