The Swedish Wire
REYKJAVIK (AFP) - Formal talks have started over Iceland's entry into the European Union, but Icelanders remain cool at the prospect as differences over fishing and revived national pride trump EU enthusiasm.
As enlargement negotiations got under way in Brussels last week there were few on the small volcanic island in the north Atlantic who were keen to champion the idea of becoming the 29th EU member after Croatia next year.
"I don't have really a marked opinion but, about the fishing, I don't think it's good for the Icelandic people," said artist Gestur Mar Fanndal, enjoying the Reykjavik sunshine with his child on a busy shopping street.
Public support for enlargement is key because the decision to join the EU will ultimately go to a referendum. Norway twice voted against joining the EU, in 1972 and 1994.
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Icelanders keep cool over EU membership