Swedish euro scepticism hits all time high

Fewer than one in ten Swedes want to replace the krona with the euro, in an overall EU-confidence dip that political scientists tie to the financial crisis.

Swedish euro scepticism hits all time high

“Whether it’s founded or unfounded, the euro is blamed for what’s happened with Europe’s economy,” Sören Holmberg, political science professor at Gothenburg University, told Sveriges Radio (SR).

“And the crisis has indirectly affected the Swedish economy.”

The latest poll of Swedes’ attitudes towards the European Union and its institutions was published by the SOM Institute at Gothenburg University. The survey measured everything from the trust Swedish citizens place in the European parliament to how they think that being an EU member state has affected Sweden’s alcohol policies.

The overarching trend is clear, with Swedes’ confidence for the EU overall sinking since the euro crisis kicked off in 2010.

Professor Holmberg said the health of Swedes’ wallets is often the direct determinant of how they feel about the EU.

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“The Swedish people are a bit opportunistic, which many people are, and right now the EU is getting a big portion of the blame for the current crisis,” he said.

“That affects opinion in Sweden.”

The new poll also showed that Swedes who are positive in general toward the EU are no longer in the majority. Two years ago, 53 percent said they were in favour of the union. By 2012, that proportion had sunk to 42 percent.

Swedes have long been sceptical to any tendencies to turning the EU into a federal union. In the new survey, only 11 percent of Swedes said they were in favour of a United States of Europe type of political arrangement.

Holmberg said the negativity may affect the elections to the European parliament next spring.

“If these numbers stick around, the May 2014 elections may move in favour of parties who are more EU-critical,” he told SR.

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