Sunday, September 07, 2003
Sweden's Euro 2003 Qualifier - 7th September 2003, 20.03

With just a week to go before the Swedish electorate vote upon whether to switch their currency from the Swedish krone to the Euro, the 'No' campaign maintains a slender lead. Those who wish to switch to the Euro form 38.5% of an average of six polls, those who oppose the switch are 47%, with the undecideds at 14.%. "The figures resulted from an average of six polls carried out by six different institutions between August 25 and September 3." From these figures, one can conclude that the Swedish vote could be positive or negative for Euroland.

The result of this referendum has consequences for Denmark. The pro-Euro government are hesitant to organise another referendum on joining the single currency and are watching their Nordic neighbour with some trepidation. Danish ministers have already voiced concerns over the domestic ripples that a No vote could cause.

"A Swedish 'no' would have a psychological effect on some Danes, and would make it even more difficult to get them to vote for the euro in another referendum," said Bendt Bendtsen, the Danish economy minister and deputy prime minister.

Finance Minister Thor Pedersen said a Swedish decision to snub euro membership would undermine whatever Danish enthusaism there is for the euro, at a time when opinion polls are finally showing a more favourable attitude to Europe's single currency.

When the Prime Minister was asked what bearing the decision of the Swedes would have on Britain's proposed 'Euro' referendum, he ducked the issue. However, it was probably an honest response. Blair understands that that the British public are not influenced by decisions taken elsewhere and that if all other EU nations joined Euroland, they could take some pleasure out of being perverse (in the eyes of Europhiles) and retain sterling. Briain's referendum on the Euro will be decided by domestic developments alone.


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