Its Economy in Ruins, Iceland Votes to Join the EU

By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 17, 2009 7:09 AM CDT
The Icelandic parliament building in Reykjavik pictured on Wednesday Jan. 28 2009. By a narrow majority, MPs voted to begin accession to the European Union.   (AP Photo/Brynjar Gauti )
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(Newser) – Iceland held fast to its independence as it rocketed to become one of the world's richest nations. But after a spectacular bust that decimated its currency and felled its government, the island nation has voted to join the EU. The accession plans are a victory for the country's new PM, Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir, who is trying to stabilize the country after its entire banking system collapsed. While the EU is nearly certain to accept Iceland's membership, meeting the bloc's economic requirements will take at least 18 months.