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Spain claim financial collapse won't harm Iceland's EU Application

Mon 11th Jan 2010

Spain – the current presidents of the EU- has assured Iceland that the storm caused by the collapse of the Icesave Bank last year will not hurt their application to join the European Union, Iceland's foreign ministry reported on Saturday.

"The foreign minister of Iceland, Ossur Skarphedinsson, spoke today with Miguel Angel Moratinos, the foreign minister of Spain, which holds the presidency of the European Union," the ministry said in a statement."In their conversation, Mr. Moratinos stated that the Spanish EU presidency viewed the Icesave issue and Iceland's EU application as separate issues, and that the new situation that has arisen in Iceland would not have any impact on the EU's treatment of the application," it continued.

On Friday, Spain's Foreign Minister told journalists how the issue between Reykjavik and EU member states - Britain and the Netherlands, "could slow the negotiation process a bit."

Iceland's President released a statement on Tuesday saying how he would not sign a controversial bill to compensate the British and Dutch governments for reimbursing Icesave investors, causing an outcry in both in London and The Hague. Instead he said that he would put the bill to a public referendum, to be held by March 6 at the latest.

Iceland applied for membership in the EU in July 2009, hoping that acceptance would help stabilise the economy after the collapse of its financial sector in October 2008.

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