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Sweden can back eurozone pact: Riksdag

Sweden can back eurozone pact: Riksdag

Published: 27 Jan 2012 16:14 GMT+01:00
Updated: 27 Jan 2012 16:14 GMT+01:00

Sweden's parliament on Friday gave as expected the government a green light to support the eurozone pact on fiscal discipline at an EU summit next week, as long as certain terms are met.

The parliament's EU affairs "committee concluded that the government had support for its position," committee spokesman Tommy Forsell told AFP, pointing out that this meant Prime Minister Frederik Reinfeldt was free to negotiate terms with Brussels for joining the pact.

With its blessing, the committee formalized the mandate the minority centre-right government received when it reached a deal with the main opposition Social Democrats Thursday, giving it a parliamentary majority.

The government is strongly in favour of the euro pact, but the Social Democrats had long threatened to block Sweden's support of the pact for fear it was a "back door" into the eurozone.

The Scandinavian country rejected the euro in a 2003 referendum.

While Sweden is not a eurozone member, it has among the strongest public finances in Europe and is therefore seen as an influential player in European efforts to improve financial discipline.

The government and the Social Democrats agreed on four conditions that Sweden will push for at the negotiating table in Brussels next week, including demands that Sweden not be required to transfer any decision-making power on its budget from the national parliament and that Sweden be granted more influence.

The Social Democrats said Thursday that one way Sweden could be guaranteed more influence was by being given a seat at eurozone summits where the pact is up for discussion.

Eurozone versus full EU summits are a sensitive topic for some governments, notably France, which refuses to grant access to the 10 other EU states more than once a year.

During discussions Friday at the EU affairs committee, however, the demand for a seat at the table did not seem set in stone.

"There are other solutions. For instance by helping with preparations (for the summits), by setting exact terms for what can be discussed by euro countries and non-euro countries," said state secretary Katarina Areskoug Mascarenhas, who was standing in for Reinfeldt, who had the stomach flu.

Social Democratic representative Marie Granlund also conceded that "exactly how the influence should be organised is something we can come back to."

The so-called fiscal "compact" to tighten budgetary discipline and economic governance between the 17 eurozone nations is one of the main issues on the agenda when leaders of the 27-nation EU meet in Brussels on Monday.

All EU states except Britain have agreed to consider signing the fiscal compact, the aim of which is to avoid a repeat of the debt crisis in the eurozone.

The pact is expected to be agreed in principle on Monday before formal acceptance at an EU summit on March 1 and 2.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

20:35 January 27, 2012 by Mb 65
WHY. we should get out of the defunct EU.
20:51 January 27, 2012 by Roy E
Instead of insulating itself from the inevitable economic debacle, Sweden seems as though it is scambling to secure its place on the RMS Titanic.

Britain was wise to opt out of this farce. Sweden should do likewise.
21:06 January 27, 2012 by Mb 65
Löfven takes over the SD and suddenly they agree to back Reinfeldt and the Eurozone. I smell a rat here, I wondered why out of the blue he is chosen.
23:44 January 27, 2012 by Coalbanks
The EU is too expensive for the poorer members. They should be excluded until they can afford to pay their way. Lack of membership will give them a lower valued currency, makes their exports cheaper so they can build wealth until they can compete with richer members. They can be readmitted to the EU club if/when thier financial state & financial methods warrant, ie Collect taxes! provide true financial statements!. Rich members can't afford to drop out of the EU club as thier currency becomes too highly valued losing them export markets. They can buy what they need from non-members & sell to fellow EU members. Extend EU club to include Canada & Mexico? Can't be any worse than what exists today.
11:46 January 28, 2012 by zooeden
Sweden can back just about anything!!!
15:26 January 28, 2012 by KFF
Re: zooeden.

The small bureaucratic globalist clique that run Sweden WILL back anything as long as it undermines the swedish nation.

Or more exactly, swedish national interest isn't part of the criteria that determines what policy actions to implement when governing the nation. Utopian ideology based on the spiritual needs of secular people (ideology as an ersatz religion!) together with the self interest of the bureacratic leadership is what determines.

Impossible to understand swedish politics without that understanding.
09:04 January 29, 2012 by Fred Johnsson
This must NEVER HAPPEN! Converting the Swedish Krona till "Euro dollars" is a death sentence and It will crash and burn the Swedish economy!

What can be done to prevent it?
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