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Social Democrats affirm eurozone pact opposition

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Social Democrats affirm eurozone pact opposition
07:34 CET+01:00
The Social Democrats remain opposed to having Sweden join the eurozone stability pact, while the Centre Party said on Wednesday it supported the deal "with conditions".

“We said no in December to the negotiated proposal because we believed it represented a backdoor to joining the eurozone. When we studied the document, it confirmed our impression. This isn't a solution to Europe's problems,” Social Democrat head Håkan Juholt said on Tuesday.

According to Juholt, Sweden's own budget rules are better and more effective.

“The proposal includes so many things that are unclear, both legally and politically, about what the consequences would be for Sweden. So our message to the government and the Swedish people is that we are standing by our no,” said Juholt.

The Social Democrats continued opposition to the pact surprised prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.

“I don't recognize the Social Democrats. I don't recognize their way of reasoning,” he told the TT news agency.

He thought the Social Democrats' statements were also strange as they come at a time when negotiations of the pact are still ongoing.

“Obviously I'm hoping for support in the Riksdag, but things haven't been fully negotiated yet. And it's the final result I plan to take to the Riksdag's EU committee for support,” said Reinfeldt.

On Wednesday, the Centre Party used an opinion piece in the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper to announce its support for the pact, but emphasized the party still opposed Sweden adopting the common European currency.

“A requirement is that joining [the pact] shouldn't be seen as a preliminary indication about, or a first step toward, membership in the eurozone,” the party's leaders wrote in DN.

Another demand from the Centre Party is that Sweden shouldn't be tied to the pact's rules because “we have our own very well-functioning fiscal policy framework”.

Meanwhile, finance mininster Anders Borg said that if Sweden is going to join the eurozone budget pact, Sweden must be allowed to attend eurozone summit meetings.

According to his press secretary, the request shouldn't be interpreted as a condition required to gain Sweden's support for the pact.

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