Iceland is to be fast-tracked into the European Union in an attempt to stop the country going into complete financial meltdown, it emerged last night.
The small Arctic nation is expected to apply for membership within months and become the 29th member state of the EU within just two years.
Olli Rehn, the European commissioner in charge of enlargement, said: ‘The EU prefers two countries joining at the same time rather than individually. If Iceland applies shortly and the negotiations are rapid, Croatia and Iceland could join the EU in parallel.
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‘On Iceland, I hope I will be busier. It is one of the oldest democracies in the world and its strategic and economic positions would be an asset to the EU,’ he told the Guardian.
The holders of the EU presidency, the Czechs, are strong supporters of EU enlargement and will favour Iceland joining the bloc. The next holder, Sweden, is also expected to be sympathetic.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
Before Iceland is in a position to join the EU, it must first fully appoint a new government.