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Half of Icelanders Support EU Accession Talks, Poll Shows

Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Half of Icelanders want the country to complete European Union accession talks, a poll by the University of Iceland’s Social Science Research Institute published by RUV showed.

Voter support for continuing the process and putting EU membership to a referendum was 50 percent, the Reykjavik-based broadcaster said late yesterday. The poll showed that 37.9 percent want to withdraw the membership bid, while a 12.1 percent didn’t want to comment on their position.

Iceland started EU entry talks in July 2010 and will likely vote on accession in early 2013. Of a total of 35 negotiating chapters for EU accession, Iceland has opened 11 and completed eight, the EU said in December. The primary challenges facing the talks are in matters relating to agriculture, environment and fisheries, according to EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule.

The institute polled 1,198 people and had 97.9 percent response rate. The margin of error was 0.95 percent to 1.46 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Omar R. Valdimarsson in Reykjavik valdimarsson@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jonas Bergman at jbergman@bloomberg.net

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