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Bildt rules out Swedish euro talks

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11:39 CEST+02:00
Sweden has no plans to breathe new life into the euro currency debate despite a weakening of the krona against the euro and the dollar, said Foreign Minister Carl Bildt on Friday.

Speaking at the Moderate Party's 'Europe Days' conference in the Stockholm suburb Sollentuna, Bildt was full of praise for the European Union's currency cooperation.

"If we hadn't had a common currency in Europe the situation would have been considerably more difficult for everyone, including Sweden. Then we would have had a currency crisis in the middle of all this," he said.

But the foreign minister did not believe the current bout of financial turbulence was enough to necessitate new discussions about whether Sweden should join the euro zone.

"The conditions for this will not be in place for the next few years," said Bildt, who was one of the instigators of the 2003 euro referendum.

"If you've lost a referendum you have to respect the result," he said.

Before the deeply divisive 2003 vote, Bildt warned that the krona would soon develop into a largely worthless currency. But the minister has changed his view since then.

"We do not have a currency crisis, in fact we enjoy remarkable currency stability," said Bildt.

The minister added that it was possible the euro discussion would return of its own accord once the current crisis had been fully analyzed.

But asked whether the government would lead such a discussion, Bildt deferred to Prime Minister Reinfeldt.

"Ask Fredrik," he said.

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