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Thousands protest in Iceland over EU membership bid exit

Published on Feb 25, 2014 6:09 AM
 
Thousands of protesters gather in front of teh Parliament in the Icelandic capital Reykjavik on Feb 24, 2014 to demand a referendum amid a government bid to pull out of EU accession talks without a popular vote. Thousands of protesters thronged the streets of the Icelandic capital Reykjavik on Monday to demand a referendum after the government said it was dropping its European Union (EU) membership bid without a popular vote. -- PHOTO: AFP

REYKJAVIK (AFP) - Thousands of protesters thronged the streets of the Icelandic capital Reykjavik on Monday to demand a referendum after the government said it was dropping its European Union (EU) membership bid without a popular vote.

Police said around 3,500 protestors gathered outside the parliament in the biggest street demonstrations since the 2009 financial crisis to demand the government honour a May election pledge to hold a referendum on EU membership.

Iceland's eurosceptic government suspended EU accession talks indefinitely last September, following a promise made during the 2013 election campaign.

On Friday, it announced a draft bill to "retract the application for membership of the European Union", which the island nation submitted in 2010.

 
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