Narrow majority of Swedes opposed to euro

A majority of Swedes remain opposed to adopting the euro more than four years after rejecting the currency in a referendum but their sway is narrowing, a poll showed on Tuesday.

Some 50.8 percent of Swedes would have voted “No” to the euro if a referendum had been held during the month of November, compared to 53.8 percent in May and 51.5 percent a year ago, the survey by Statistics Sweden suggested.

Sweden has been a member of the European Union since 1995 but it rejected the single European currency in a plebiscite in September 2003.

The “No” vote was seen as a reflection of deep-rooted opposition to moving power further away from the people to the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, which Swedes feared would not take the needs of their small country into account when shaping monetary policy.

Tuesday’s poll showed the “Yes” and “Undecided” camps gaining ground.

Some 35 percent of the 9,383 people questioned between October 29th and November 25th said they would vote in favour of the euro, up from 33.3 percent in May.

Another 14.2 percent said they had yet to make up their minds, compared to 13 percent six months ago.

When it comes to Sweden’s EU membership, 50 percent said they were favourable, up from 49 percent in May and 46 percent in November 2006, while 24 percent were opposed, down from 26 percent in May and 30 percent in November 2006.

Sweden’s neighbour Denmark announced in November that it would hold a new referendum on the euro, seven years after it rejected the currency in a plebiscite.

No date has been set for that vote.