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Top Swedish execs less keen on the euro
Nordea CEO Christian Clausen

Top Swedish execs less keen on the euro

Published: 27 Dec 2010 16:00 GMT+01:00
Updated: 27 Dec 2010 16:00 GMT+01:00

A number of prominent Swedish business leaders have become more sceptical towards Sweden joining the euro in the near future, but stressed their belief in the currency's viability in the long term.

The euro faced its toughest challenges yet in 2010 with debt-ridden members Greece and Ireland forcing other euro and EU countries to come to the rescue with a massive loan package, newspaper Svenska Dagbladet reported on Monday.

"It is maybe more important for large countries like England to take a position and join so that it becomes a more stable area. It is not good with an unstable currency area," Ericsson Chairman Michael Treschow told the newspaper on Monday.

Treschow underlined however that in the longer term he still believed that Sweden would gain from having a currency that followed "more stable" rules.

As the 16-member currency prepares to welcome its newest member, Estonia, on January 1st, the debt crisis in the eurozone this year has deterred many who were previously positive to Sweden joining the euro.

Many economists believe that the crisis has proved that monetary union is not optimal and predict that poor countries may be forced to leave, the report said.

At the same time, the Swedish economy has rocketed past eurozone growth rates. While Finance Minister Anders Borg has insisted that Sweden would have done well even with the euro as currency, he has not been as proactive as Liberal Party leader Jan Björklund in pushing for a new euro referendum, SvD reported.

Sweden voted against 56.1 percent a 2003 referendum that would have determined accession on January 1st, 2006.

Swedish business leaders do not have a Swedish euro accession on their minds at the moment, with Nordea CEO Christian Clausen stating that Swedish support does not seem to be of immediate importance.

"A new referendum would probably result in a very clear answer from the people," Clausen, a native of Denmark, told SvD.

He added that there is no clear answer as to whether Sweden would be better off in joining the eurozone.

"If one joins the eurozone, there might be a little more leeway - for example, having a slightly larger deficit. However, the problem is that some countries gave themselves too much space," cautioned Clausen.

SEB CEO Annika Falkengren agreed.

"The crises this year show that one must have a tight fiscal policy given that one does not have the interest rate weapon the same way countries outside the euro do. Sweden has shown that it has fared very well on its own merits on the outside," she said earlier this year.

However, Swedish business leaders remain confident that the euro will survive in the long term.

"Some countries may possibly be forced to leave, but on the whole, it will stay together. I am European and I believe in the project. We live in an open democracy and it takes a bit longer to implement things," Atlas Copco CEO Ronnie Leten, a native of Belgium, told SvD.

"The euro and the dollar are the world's two reserve currencies and there is no doubt that the euro will survive. The question is how long it will take to solve these acute problems," added Clausen.

The Local/vt (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

20:39 December 27, 2010 by lux.veritas
Madame La Guillotine for the thirteen banking families. Those behind the private banks, central banks, for their debt based worthless currencies. Printed out of thin air at no loss to the banks + interest a debt based tax robbery that assures poverty, suffering and wealth transfer to these evil criminals. For if nothing is done by owned politicians and corporations; they will take the very roofs from over our heads and food out of the mouths of our children. youtube search Zeitgeist Addendum: Find out how the top people behind the banksters and their puppets in state and corporation act with their economic terrorism, assasinations, corruption.
00:18 December 28, 2010 by Thebinary1
I think its time to fire Annika Falkengren and Christian Clausen for their incompetence!

"The crises this year show that one must have a tight fiscal policy given that one does not have the interest rate weapon the same way countries outside the euro do." .... so it is Annika's view that in the long-term, interest rates are a redundant monetory weapon for individual Euro countries since that country surrenders its economic fate to the Brussels!

"The question is how long it will take to solve these acute problems." .... well Clausen .... here's the thing. In the immediate future, the Eurozone will fracture into a two-speed zone. We will have Germany powering away prompting the need for higher interest rates as inflation brought on by a growth spurt, rises. In stark contrast we have Spain, Greece and Ireland with massive debt, unemployment , and a deflating economy prompting the need for lower interest rates to stimulate growth.

So unless the Germans feel all charitable and gives money away to Ireland, Greece and Spain, or unless the Germans start buying actual chunks of Irish and Spanish territory ... there is no long term solution. Note that the former seem more likely as the bailouts given to Ireland, Greece and Spain being written off is Germany being charitable. The assumption ofcourse is that Ireland, Greece and Spain use the money wisely .... which does NOT seem likely and hence why the ECB attaches conditions on the bailouts they have given to Ireland and Greece so far.

That's the long-term outlook for the Eurozone.

So yeah, Annika ... Christian ... don't bother to come to work anymore.
09:12 December 28, 2010 by Kevin Harris
"there is no doubt that the euro will survive." Nordea CEO Christian Clausen

There is considerable doubt wheteher the Euro will survive; even amongst its most ardent supporters. If Cristian Clausen has bet the Nordea farm on the Euro being around in the next ten years, Nordea shareholders may be in for a difficult time.
11:19 December 28, 2010 by zircon
The more interesting days of Swedish ambitions to join the Euro or not are over. Over the last decade we have seen no particular new thing coming from the Swedes in power on the subject. Since Anna Lindh has died nothing else happened on this front. She was as great as McNamara.
16:46 December 28, 2010 by Syftfel
Treschow is right! If joining the Euro means that we have to bail out third world sink holes in southern Europe, please save us. These lazy southern rim cesspools need to be taught a lesson and live within their means, and not expect us to bail them out. Don't join the Euro! And while we're at it, take a look at the Schengen Agreement too. This appears to have a destructive impact on Nordic cohesion and uniformity.
01:13 January 3, 2011 by mkvgtired
"It is maybe more important for large countries like England to take a position and join so that it becomes a more stable area. It is not good with an unstable currency area,"

And I'm sure the UK is very happy at the moment it did not join the Euro, despite the fact it has given considerable funds to bail out the troubling nations. The German Mark was by far the most held reserve currency behind the USD before the Euro was introduced. By joining (or one could say forming) the Euro Germany succeeded in diluting its own currency's strength by spreading it to the entire Eurozone. Considering the very favorable position of the German Mark I am very surprised Germany pushed so hard for the creation of the Euro.
17:19 January 4, 2011 by landofthesheeple
How can Sweden be part of the EU, but not have the Euro as currancy?

It would be like getting partial circumcision : ) lol

As to no surprise however, it's just like the typical Swedish relationship. The couple live together and have kids, but never get married (save that one for another topic).

BTW- Wasn't Sweden already bailing out third world countries by relocating their inhabitants here?

No wonder this country is going down the chocolate river with out toilet paper. No one has here has the courage to make rational decisions one way or the other.

Sheesh !
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