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 Friday, 29 November, 2002, 11:23 GMT
Sweden to hold euro referendum
Swedish
Public doubts: Sweden is doing well with the krona
Sweden will hold a referendum on whether to adopt the single European currency on 14 September next year, leaders of the country's main political parties have decided.

Latest poll
For euro: 43%
Against euro: 43%
Undecided: 14%
The decision to hold a referendum was widely expected after the victory of the Social Democratic Party in elections earlier this year.

However, polls show that the population is split on the issue, and that support for the euro could be declining.

Although a member of the European Union, Sweden, like the UK and Denmark, did not join the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) with other EU members in 1999.

Krona firms

The national currency, the krona, firmed on the news to 9.0525 against the euro from above 9.06 before.

The Moderate Party leader, Bo Lundgren, said another meeting will be held in mid-December to decide how to phrase the question on the nationwide ballot.

Before the referendum can be held, a majority in parliament must approve the idea, but since only two small parties oppose it, the suggestion is likely to be approved.

A survey released on Thursday showed support for the euro dropping to 43% from 45% in a similar poll in October, while opposition increased to 43% from 39%.

Swedish success

The number of undecided was 14%.

Analysts say the change in public opinion may be due to the Swedish outperformance of the eurozone economies.

In May the European Commission said Sweden was not ready to join the euro because its currency is too unstable and the central bank not independent enough from the government.

The Scandinavian nation of 8.9 million people joined the EU in 1995.

  WATCH/LISTEN
  ON THIS STORY
  Jernus Frickland, Confederation Swedish Enterprise
"There will be a very close race"
See also:

22 May 02 | Business
10 Jun 02 | Business
10 Aug 01 | Business
14 Nov 02 | Politics
06 Oct 02 | Country profiles
17 Sep 02 | Europe
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