Iceland 'could join EU by 2011' | News | Al Jazeera

Iceland 'could join EU by 2011'

A top European Commission official says the country could be allowed early membership.

    The government collapsed following protests over its handling of the economic crisis [EPA]

    Krisztina Nagy, a spokeswoman for Rehn, said negotiations "would go relatively fast" if it applied, because the country is a member of the European Economic Area, a zone which includes the EU's member states and Liechenstein, Norway and Iceland.

    "It already has in place a lot of legislation that is harmonised with European Union legislation," she said.

    A spokesman for the EU presidency, currently held by the Czech Republic, also said: "Iceland is a country with which we share values."

    New government

    Talks to form a new ruling coalition in Iceland are nearing to a close, a leading politician has said.

    Johanna Sigurdardottir, who is tipped to become the country's next prime minister, said negotiations between the Social Democrat Alliance and Left-Greens were set to conclude on Friday, and that the new administration would take power on the weekend.

    "We fully expect that a new government can take office on Saturday," she said.

    Ingibjorg Gisladottir, leader of the Social Democrats, has proposed 66-year-old Sigurdardottir become prime minister.

    The new coalition will lead the country until national elections, expected to be held between in May.

    Iceland's government collapsed following protests over its handling of the economic situation, which saw its financial system crash and its currency plummet.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    The State of Lebanon

    The State of Lebanon

    Amid deepening regional rivalries what does the future hold for Lebanon's long established political dynasties?

    Exploited, hated, killed: The lives of African fruit pickers

    Exploited, hated, killed: Italy's African fruit pickers

    Thousands of Africans pick fruit and vegetables for a pittance as supermarkets profit, and face violent abuse.