Lawmakers in the Icelandic parliament, the Althingi, reconvened a marathon debate on Monday to decide if the Reykjavik government should formally apply for membership of the European Union.
Icelanders in the capital Reykjavík are split over EU membership
Iceland's wish to join the European Union received a setback on Sunday when five Green party members sided with the conservative opposition to block a resolution giving approval to the government proposal. The Greens have hinged their support on the coalition government giving the green light to a national referendum on EU membership.
Social Democrat Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir is opposed to idea of a referendum delaying accession talks and wants a quick vote so she can deliver Iceland's application on July 27 when Sweden's Foreign Minister Össur Skarphédinsson will be hosting a meeting of the Council of Ministers.
Sweden assumed the EU presidency on July 1 and has raised the possibility of Iceland getting favorable treatment becasue of its strong ties to the 27-member bloc.
All politicians agree that once accession talks have been concluded with Brussels, the country's 250,000 eligible voters should have the final say.
In the meantime lawmakers are locked in a bitter, long drawn-out debate with the conservative opposition concerned about Iceland's fishing rights.
Sigurdardóttir says EU membership is the best way to stabilize the island's economy after its banking industry collapsed in the autumn under the weight of the financial crisis.
The eurosceptics seem to have gained the upper hand at the moment and together with Green party defectors have a majority in parliament.
EU officials have said that, if an application is made, Iceland could probably become a full member between 2010 and 2012.
Editor: Neil King
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that Greece cannot afford to go it alone. A draft report by the fund criticized Greek coalition leaders Syriza for Greece's deteriorating prospects.
Malaysia has told the UN Security Council it wants a United Nations-backed tribunal to pursue those suspected of shooting down a Malaysia Airlines jet last year. Veto holder Russia did not raise formal objections.
Up to 30,000 migrants living in Germany for years on suspended deportation orders are to be granted residency under a law amendment. Another parliament move to expel those unwanted has been slammed by asylum advocates.
Drunken tourists staggering on the beach of Barcelona, loud louts shouting down the alleys of Lisbon. Tourism in many popular European cities is attracting criticism and some towns are concerned about their image.