EU chairman hails Iceland's application for membership
Azerbaijan, Baku, July 17 / Trend , E.Ostapenko/
Prime Minister of Sweden, head of the European Union, welcomed Iceland's application for membership, the EU official report said.
"I welcome the decision of the Parliament of Iceland to apply for membership in the European Union," Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said. "The application will be considered in due order."
On July 16, Iceland's parliament voted to provide the government with a mandate to start negotiations on joining the EU.
Debate on this issue continued at the parliament of Iceland for several days. Legislators hope that the country's joining the EU and, consequently, the transition to a single European currency would have a positive impact on the national economy experiencing a deep recession, told RIA Novosti.
A total of 33 members of the parliament of Iceland voted for launching the negotiations on the country's joining the EU, 28 legislators were against and two abstained.
The country's government figures on submitting an official application for membership by late July. If it is approved by member countries of the European Union, the issue on country's joining the European bloc will be put to a national referendum.
The authorities of Iceland hope that their country will become a member of the European Union in 2011, RIA Novosti reported, citing sources in the European Commission.
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