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Bildt: euro stability lessened crisis impact

AFP/The Local · 13 Jan 2012, 07:43

Published: 13 Jan 2012 07:43 GMT+01:00

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"If we compare the alternative -- and I was prime minister in the early 90s so I can speak with a certain authority -- we had a situation in Europe in the early 90s when we had a country devaluing every two weeks or something like that," Carl Bildt told reporters in Lithuania.

"It was complete monetary turmoil," Bildt said on the sidelines of a closed-door policy conference in the south-eastern town of Trakai.

"Now we have gone through a very severe economic crisis but we have had monetary stability," he added, in contrast with critics who pin the blame for Europe's economic woes on the eurozone crisis.

Sweden, which joined the EU in 1995, is not a euro-zone member, the Swedes having rejected the euro in a 2003 referendum.

Having learned tough lessons from their own economic slump of the early 1990s, Sweden is now held up as an example of fiscal rectitude, boasting a place among Europe's strongest public finances.

But Stockholm steers clear of anti-euro rhetoric and Bildt said that the euro had brought "tremendous benefits" both to members of the 17-nation currency bloc and to the entire 27-member EU.

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"It's been a benefit for trade integration," he said.

"You can argue that during the particular crisis it has been more comfortable short term on the outside. But there's no question that the euro is to the benefit of the Swedish economy as well," he added.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:24 January 13, 2012 by HYBRED
I can't help but notice that Bildt puts the Euro problem(s) in the past tense. The Eurozone and EU ecomomic problems are far from over. And the forcast for this year is far from rosey. In fact a mild recession at the least is in store by most accounts.
10:15 January 13, 2012 by the fonz
This opinion misses some important issues - the problems of Greece and the other PIIGS is very much linked to their participation in the Euro. Is it obvious that the one cap system has failed. Germany is booming whilst everyone else is virtually bankrupt. So it probably is correct to say the Euro has remained relatively stable, but at what cost?
11:37 January 13, 2012 by Nemesis
I wonder has anyone every asked Bilt or been allowed to ask Bilt about Swedish banks reckless lending policies to Baltic states, which came close to crippling them?
11:54 January 13, 2012 by Brianito
I agree Hybred ...... interesting to see what will happen tomorrow when Britain releases the unemployment figures.
20:20 January 13, 2012 by viennacalling
here we go again another Spin Doctor on the Euro

its not the Euro its the Fact that when they decided on a single currency for many countries then they should have had a EUROBOND where all the countries borrow at the same Rate

nothing will happen until Germany really feels the Pinch and its coming !
23:09 January 14, 2012 by Rebel
Nerd Boy really is doing his best to make the business interests that support his party happy. Problem is, anyone who studies the debt problem knows he is full of you know what.
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