• Sweden edition
 
Swedes' disdain for the euro hits new heights

Swedes' disdain for the euro hits new heights

Published: 27 Dec 2011 15:32 GMT+01:00
Updated: 27 Dec 2011 15:32 GMT+01:00

Non-euro countries Sweden and Denmark are fonder than ever of their own currencies, the krona and the krone, as the crisis plaguing the eurozone also hurts their economies.

Both members of the European Union, the two Scandinavian countries have refused to adopt the single currency.

For Sweden, the choice appears to have been the right one for now: it posted economic growth of 4.6 percent in the third quarter, compared to just 0.2 percent in the eurozone.

Its trade surplus soared by 41.8 percent in October from the same month a year earlier, while industrial production rose by 4.7 percent during the same period.

But Sweden's export-heavy economy has slowed dramatically in recent weeks and central bank forecasts show growth shrinking to just 1.3 percent in 2012.

"There has been a fall in orders to Swedish export companies, and exports will be much weaker next year," the bank said on December 20, predicting that households and businesses would postpone spending and investments.

Lower demand is also expected to "affect the labour market and unemployment will increase somewhat in the year ahead," the central bank said. In November, the country's jobless rate stood at 6.7 percent.

Sweden is considered to have among Europe's strongest public finances, but it "will not be unaffected by a general European crisis and it is in our interest to be part of a European solution," Finance Minister Anders Borg told AFP recently, insisting the country needs a seat at the table where a solution to the turmoil is hammered out.

Denmark, meanwhile, has been suffering from the effects of the crisis for several quarters and is now on the verge of recession.

In the third quarter, the Danish economy shrank by 0.8 percent, and economists expect it to shrink again in the fourth quarter, technically putting Denmark in recession.

Due to the weak outlook, the government has increased its public deficit forecast for 2012 to 5.5 percent of gross domestic product, or 100.7 billion kroner ($17.7 billion) -- up from the 96 billion previously anticipated.

The widening of the debt was attributed to an expected decrease in tax revenue and increased spending on unemployment and social benefits, Finance Minister Bjarne Corydon said.

Given the state of play in Europe, Swedes and Danes have expressed robust opposition to the euro.

Recent polls suggest 87.6 percent of Swedes and 71 percent of Danes want to hold onto their own currencies.

"Swedish confidence in the euro has never been as low," polling institute Skop said, noting that "support for the euro has been in a downward trend the past two years."

“The European debt crisis has had an impact on Danish public opinion about the euro," Danske Bank chief economist Steen Bocian said, recalling that in September 60 percent of Danes were opposed to adopting the euro.

Sweden rejected the euro in a 2003 referendum. Denmark also voted against the adoption of the single currency, but unlike Sweden it negotiated an opt-out on the euro with Brussels.

The Danish krone is linked to the euro through a fixed exchange rate policy that allows the krone to fluctuate within a 2.25-percent range, and Denmark's central bank ensures that the gap between its interest rates and those of the eurozone is never too wide.

"The system works very well," Bocian said, even if "it's a strange construction" that is not meant to be a long-term arrangement.

"It could be advantageous right now" to not be a member of the eurozone, "but at the beginning of the crisis, in 2008, it was costly (for Denmark) to be outside," he said.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

13:53 December 28, 2011 by rohermoker
I am proud to be called a Swede here in Minnesota- You have been able to keep out of the Euro problem. the powers in Germ-ance will have you send more money to keep their Banker freinds happy. Just remember no matter how bad it gets- the banks never lose, the share holders and citizens of the country's may lose, but never the banks.
17:08 December 28, 2011 by ionut
This is cheap propaganda.You should not brainwash people's own wills
20:24 December 28, 2011 by godnatt
Common sense rules for once. The euro will go the way of Esperanto soon enough.
09:19 December 29, 2011 by Yendor79
One just need to come to Sweden from a Euro based country to see how the money is not worth the paper it's printed on. STAY AWAY from the Krona, it irreparibly crippled my country of origin, don't let it cripple yours. Now everyone cheer on the transaction taxes coming to Eurozone only...
10:58 December 29, 2011 by johan rebel
Disdain for the €? Really? What a surpise! Why on earth would the Swedes have such a low opinion of that fantastic, universally loved and amazingly successful currency?
21:17 December 29, 2011 by Roy E
Forfeiting one's sovereignty never is a good idea.

Sweden was wise to stay out of the Euro.
17:08 December 30, 2011 by tadchem
Not everything should be shared with one's neighbors. If you live in a terrace or row house and your neighber makes a mistake that starts a fire, EVERYBODY stands to lose.
19:04 January 1, 2012 by EP
Swedes don't share anything with their neighbours, they don't even talk to them ;-)
Today's headlines
Sponsored Article
On the move: Sweden's shifting mobility trends
House keys: Shutterstock.

On the move: Sweden's shifting mobility trends

Finding somewhere to live when you move to Sweden is a challenge. With changes afoot The Local caught up with an expert from letting agency Residensportalen to find out in what direction the market is going, and how Google Glasses may just help you find your dream home. READ () »

The Local List
Ten most disgusting Swedish foods
Salty liquorice, anyone? Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Ten most disgusting Swedish foods

Swedish food is, of course, a matter of taste. But it's mostly disgusting. Our loyal followers on Twitter and Facebook shared what they thought were the worst of them all. READ () »

Sweden wants cruise missiles 'for defence'
Defence Minister Karin Enström. File photo: TT

Sweden wants cruise missiles 'for defence'

The Swedish government has announced plans to beef up its defence forces by fitting its fleet of Gripen fighter jets with long-range cruise missiles. READ () »

Swede of the Week
Sweden's oldest would-be MP: 'They promised I wouldn't get in'
Swedes vote in the 2010 elections. File photo: Dan Hansson/TT

Sweden's oldest would-be MP: 'They promised I wouldn't get in'

Gösta Arvedson, 89, is the oldest Riksdag candidate in Sweden, but our Swede of the Week explains that the Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) had to make some unusual promises for him to put his name forward. READ () »

Elections 2014
Most Swedes lack info ahead of EU vote
The Green Party is one of only two parties devoting their websites to the EU elections. Here campaign manager Emma Rung presents the party's posters. Photo: Leif R Jansson/TT

Most Swedes lack info ahead of EU vote

The majority of Swedes feel the country's political parties are not doing enough to inform them about the upcoming European Parliament elections. Only two of the eight parties have dedicated their homepages to the May 25th polls. READ () »

Fatal Norrköping Brawl
Local church tried to stop Norrköping murders
Swedish police on the scene following Monday's fatal brawl. File: TT

Local church tried to stop Norrköping murders

The Syrian-Orthodox Church in Ektorp had tried to quell tensions between two rival families just hours before bad blood spilled into a massive brawl and two brothers lost their lives. READ () »

JobTalk Sweden
'Foreigners don't need to show banks Swedish ID'
The bridge that connects Sweden to the European continent. File: L.E. Daniel Larsson/Flickr

'Foreigners don't need to show banks Swedish ID'

The Swedish agency that helps Europeans fight impediments to the EU principle of free movement has revealed an increase in complaints, including one from a foreign citizen unable to open a bank account in Sweden. READ () »

Eurovision 2014
Pig heart shatters in Sweden's Eurovision clip
Sanna Nielsen in the new clip. Photo: YouTube (screenshot)

Pig heart shatters in Sweden's Eurovision clip

Sweden's Eurovision hopeful Sanna Nielsen released the official video for the song Undo on Wednesday, a clip featuring leather, slow motion destruction, and a frozen pig's heart and some violence. READ () »

Software robot pinches Swedish flats in seconds
Swedish apartments. File: The Local

Software robot pinches Swedish flats in seconds

A Swedish landlord suspects that a property fixer has set up a software robot to sign up for new flats on the market within seconds, and is charging house hunters to use the service. READ () »

Swedish zoo fire 'kills only the spiders'
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Swedish zoo fire 'kills only the spiders'

Twenty-five fire fighters were on hand on Wednesday night when a fire broke out in a southern Sweden animal park. The vast majority of the animals were unharmed, but the cluster of spiders wasn't so lucky. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
On the move: Sweden's shifting mobility trends
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 23
TT
Gallery
Inside the 850-year-old king's coffin
Features
Sponsored: South-eastern Sweden offers Öland beaches and more
Gallery
Swedish underwear shop puts staff in front of the camera
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The Local's Property of the Week - Täby
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - India Unlimited
Features
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - A film, food, and finance feast
National
University applications rocket to record high
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 18-20
TT
Society
Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter
Shutterstock
National
Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Advertisement:
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

718
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com