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Most Icelanders Want to Drop EU Membership Bid, Poll Shows

Nov. 12 (Bloomberg) -- A majority of Icelanders want to withdraw the island’s bid to join the European Union, according to a poll by Capacent Gallup.

The poll showed that 53.5 percent of voters don’t want to proceed with the application, compared with 36.4 percent who want the island to complete the accession process. About 9.9 percent were undecided, according to the poll conducted for Heimssyn, a group opposed to joining the EU, and published in newspaper Morgunbladid.

Capacent Gallup conducted the poll in September and October. The newspaper didn’t say how many voters were polled or provide a margin of error.

Iceland started EU membership talks in July 2010 and may vote on accession late next year, according to Foreign Minister Ossur Skarphedinsson. Of a total of 35 negotiating chapters for membership, Iceland has opened 21 and completed 10. The primary challenges facing the negotiations will be in matters relating to agriculture, environment and fisheries, according to EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule.

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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