With two weeks left before they vote on whether or not to enter the eurozone, politicians and businessmen are urging Swedes to endorse the euro … or else.
Prime Minister Goeran Persson warned Swedes on Sunday that if they reject the euro in the 14 September referendum they will not get another chance to vote on the issue until 2010.
Persson’s warning came as opinion polls show that a majority of Swedes are opposed to swapping their krona for the euro.
“Some people think it’s okay to vote ‘no’ now because we can always vote ‘yes’ in a little while,” the Swedish leader told reporters. “But that’s not the way it goes.”
“I expect it to be a ‘yes’ vote.”
A Ruab survey published on Saturday showed the ‘no’ side widening their lead by one percentage point in the past week, crediting the ‘no’ camp with 46.7% of votes and the ‘yes’ camp with 39.1%.
Earlier last week mobile phone manufacturer Ericsson threatened to move both its production and headquarters out of Sweden if Swedes reject the euro.
“I am convinced that we can build a strong Ericsson if we have our headquarters here. But then again I expect it to be a ‘yes’ vote,” chief executive Carl-Henric Svanberg said.
He added that Ericsson’s activities in Sweden would be reduced if the ‘no’ camp won the referendum, a scenario he envisaged for Swedish industry in general.
If Swedes do vote to swap the krona for the euro, the country is expected to adopt the currency as early as 2006.
The Swedish government said that the transition to the euro would cost 3.5 billion kronor (€377 million, $410 million).