Iceland appears to be increasingly open to adopting the Canadian dollar as its official currency, with Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir warning over the weekend that the country’s own extremely volatile currency system “can’t remain unchanged.”
“The choice is between surrendering the sovereignty of Iceland in monetary policy by unilaterally adopting the currency of another country, or become a member of the EU,” Ms. Sigurdardottir said in a speech delivered at a Social Democrat Alliance party convention Saturday in Reykjavik.
Last month, a Capacent Gallup poll found 26.3% of Icelandic voters support European Union membership while 56.2% were opposed to the idea.
That leaves the door open to other currencies.
While currencies such as Norway’s krona or Japan’s yen have reportedly been considered, Canada’s loonie has recently been cited as a frontrunner ahead of even more popular currencies such as the United States’ greenback.
Loonie support has been growing in Iceland since last summer when the country’s opposition Progressive Party began floating the concept in the media, with party chairman David Gunnlaugsson pointing to a recent poll suggesting as many as 70% of Icelanders would support their country adopting Canada’s currency.
The tiny island nation has been vying to join the EU since the summer of 2010 and hopes to hold a national referendum on the matter by early next year. EU membership will allow Iceland to “cooperate with EU countries as a sovereign nation, which has a say in the decision and policymaking in all fields of cooperation,” the Prime Minister said.