STOCKHOLM: Swedes are split down the middle on whether to adopt the euro, an opinion poll suggested Tuesday, as observers attribute rising support for the “yes” camp to the global financial crisis.
The poll comes on the heels of another survey in April that also showed an upswing for the pro-euro side.
Tuesday’s poll, conducted by Statistics Sweden (SCB) from April 28 to June 1 and which questioned 6,506 people, showed that 43 percent were opposed to adopting the euro, 42 percent were in favour and 15 percent were undecided.
That can be compared to a year ago when 52 percent said they were against and 35 percent were in favour.
“Swedes stream to the safe arms of the euro,” a member of the small pro-euro Liberal Party, Carl B. Hamilton, wrote in a comment.
The Swedish currency, the krona, has lost a quarter of its value against the euro since September 1, and the economy shrank by a record 6.5 percent in the first quarter of 2009 compared to a year earlier, the worst drop since records began in 1970, according to statistics.
“Sweden has registered weaker growth than the eurozone since the crisis started,” Cecilia Skingsley, chief analyst at Swedish bank Swedbank told news agency TT.
“Households are noticing that clothes and petrol and trips abroad have become more expensive. That may subside a bit but so far it hasn’t really helped to have our own currency,” she said.
Sweden, a country of about nine million inhabitants, has been a European Union member since 1995, but rejected joining the eurozone in a referendum in September 2003.
Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has ruled out a new euro referendum under his centre-right government’s mandate that expires in September 2010 but has suggested the issue could be discussed after that.
Several junior parties in Reinfeldt’s four-party coalition have said they are in favour of a new plebiscite during the next four-year term.
With just over a year until the next general election, the opposition left-wing alliance on Tuesday said it ruled out any new referendum during the next parliamentary term.
“It is not on the agenda to hold a referendum on adopting the euro during 2010-2014,” the leaders of the Social Democrats, Greens and Left parties wrote