Up to 2,000 people attended a protest in Austurvöllur square outside parliament in Reykjavík on Saturday afternoon, visir.is reports. Protesters are demanding that the Icelandic government not withdraw the country’s EU membership application before asking the nation whether or not it would like to continue accession talks.
Among the speakers at the protest on Saturday were filmmaker Lára Marteinsdóttir, lawyer Finnur Beck and radio presenter Eva María Jónsdóttir. Eva said that while she was not convinced that Iceland should join the EU it was for the nation to decide. “I am convinced that the nation can be trusted to go to a vote, firstly to vote on the continuation of the talks, and secondly to vote on whether or not Iceland should join the EU.”
Protests have been ongoing since the majority of members in the parliamentary groups of both ruling coalition parties—the Progressive Party and the Independence Party—voted in favor of stopping European Union membership talks in February.
The decision has received widespread criticism with many arguing that the nation should have the chance to vote on the matter, as promised before last year’s general election.
Over 51,000 people—21 percent of eligible voters in Iceland—have signed a petition calling for a referendum.