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Iceland's new coalition eyes EU referendum

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 01:08

Iceland's center-right Independence, Reform and Bright Future parties have agreed to form a coalition government and will give parliament a vote on whether to hold a referendum on joining the European Union, Rosanna Philpott reports.

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After months without one, Iceland finally has a new government. Soon to be Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson making the announcement with his coalition partners. The new trio: The Independence party in the lead, joined by Bright Future and the Reform party. It's taken 4 attempts to form a government and the new coalition can only just muster enough seats. Like almost every government since 1980 all three new ruling parties are centre right, but when it comes to policies there's one major disagreement: Membership of the EU is a controversial and divisive topic amongst Icelanders. While his partners back it, Benediktsson's independence party opposes joining But as a member of the Schengen border-free zone and the single market, Iceland is already deeply integrated It could quickly fulfill the requirements for EU membership, unlike Balkan candidates and Turkey. The new government saying it will let MPs decide whether to hold a referendum on membership.

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Iceland's new coalition eyes EU referendum

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 01:08