Sweden's Persson urges yes to euro

Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson urged Swedes Saturday to vote in favour of joining the Euro in an upcoming referendum to help counterbalance US economic supremacy.

    Persson's battle to persuade the electorate to adopt the euro hots up

    “I am a radical, I want a counterbalance to the global capital which we lack today,” Persson told an audience in Skelleftea, a town some 1,000 km north of Stockholm.

    Persson is trying to turn the tide of public opinion and persuade Swedes to vote Yes to the euro in the referendum scheduled for 14 September.

    Two polls Friday suggested his opponents lead may be narrowing.

    Counterbalance

    “The fact that we are cooperating against currency speculators (by dealing in only one currency) does not mean that we are entering a superstate,” Persson said, Reuters reported.

    “It means that we are putting a halt to the emerging superstate, which is controlled by the multinational companies.”

    Pollsters estimate that as much as 40 percent of the Nordic country’s seven million electorate have yet to make up their minds on the issue with five weeks to go in the run-up to the referendum.

    In his speech, Persson reiterated his argument that the adoption of the euro would mean lower interest rates, increased investment and more jobs.

    Nationalist

    The opposition Left Party launched its campaign Saturday, running on a nationalist ticket.

    “Our campaign is more about democracy..our right not to give away our democracy and power to decide our economic policy,” acting party leader Ulla Hoffman told Reuters.

    Unlike Britain, Sweden does not have a negotiated opt-out clause from the single currency. This, theoretically at least, means the vote is of no consequence. Still, it is most unlikely Europe would enforce the country’s entry.

     

    The Swedish vote will be closely watched by some of the accession countries of Eastern and Central Europe.

     

    Concern

     

    Many are concerned about European Commission suggestions that when their currencies join the exchange rate mechanism, known as ERM2, they will not be allowed to fluctuate by the currently prescribed 15 percent against the central rate but by a much more restrictive 2.25%.

     

    Sweden's voters could yet exercise a profound influence over the future of the euro.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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