July 16, 2009 / 2:03 PM / 10 years ago

Iceland's parliament votes in favour of EU bid

REYKJAVIK, July 16 (Reuters) - Iceland’s parliament voted on Thursday to authorise the government to begin accession talks with the European Union, an all but unthinkable prospect until the global financial crisis wrecked the island’s economy.

Members of parliament voted 33 to 28 in favour of an EU application following a final round of marathon debates that have lasted for several days. Two MPs abstained from the vote.

The vote paves the way for an application to be sent to Brussels later in July — something which Icelandic Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir has campaigned for vigorously following the country’s financial meltdown.

If its application is approved by EU member states, Iceland would put the question on actual EU membership to voters in a referendum.

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