Encouraged by what he called “overwhelming response” to his half-joking proposal for Iceland to become part of Norway, initiative taker Gunnar Smári Egilsson is forming a new political party in the small country. The party will work towards getting Iceland to give up its sovereignty and become a Norwegian county.
Egilsson told Oslo newspaper Dagsavisen that he and his supporters were launching a new website this week, on which Icelandic voters can register themselves as founding members of the new political party called Fylkisflokkurin, or “County Party.” Egilsson’s Facebook group dedicated to the proposition of becoming part of Norway currently has more than 3,200 members, equal to around 1 percent of Iceland’s total population.
The enthusiastic response to his idea that Iceland is so small that it can’t fully recover from recent economic crisis and fund its social welfare on its own, led to the move to form a political party to work seriously towards his idea of becoming a Norwegian county. “I think we have to choose between sovereignty and welfare,” Egilsson told Dagsavisen.
Iceland was under Norwegian control between 1262 and 1380 and later under Denmark. Egilsson claims Norway and Iceland share a common history and culture, and that the Icelandic language could become another official language in Norway just like nynorsk and sami already are.
Iceland didn’t become independent until 1944 and has struggled through several economic crises. Egilsson said the new party would likely be formally launched in September.