Tomorrow (19/11) On Thursday (20/11) the Swedish Parliament will vote on the Treaty of Lisbon. In our previous post we have expressed some doubt as to the outcome, everyone else, however, seems to regard the approval as a foregone conclusion.
We have seen many articles and blog posts lately about how the financial crisis tends to rally countries -members or not- to the EU and the Euro. Ironically, in cases such as Poland, Hungary, Lithuania and Iceland this comes at a time when they are further from meeting the criteria of eligibility to the Eurozone than in a long time. Leading Austrian newspaper Die Presse carries an article with a heading that can be translated as The Crisis Forces Sceptics to the EU (DE). According to the article, Ireland may say “yes” in a new referendum provided they are guaranteed a Commissioner. Iceland, still according to Die Presse, will apply for membership in 2009 with the aim of becoming a member in 2011. The Danish Premier has repeatedly stressed the advantages of belonging to the Eurozone since Denmark has been forced to increase its interest rates twice during the last month, in contrast to the rest of the world. (The Danish situation is due to its peculiar situation: without having adopted the Euro the Danish Krone is linked to the common currency and has thus to be “defended.” In other words Denmark has all the disadvantages of the Euro and none of the advantages. This is what populism does for you.) Die Presse quotes the UK (1975) and Denmark (1993) as example of how a second referendum has reversed the results of the first one.
However, Die Presse states that the Swedish Premier would have said that in uncertain times it would be better to belong to the Eurozone. If this is true (no source is given) it would be remarkable: nothing of this sort has been reported in Swedish media and indeed, any leading politician would be extremely careful not to embrace the Euro just now given the interesting development of public opinion (according to polls).
The true feeling among politicians and general opinion is probably best expressed by a recent article by a former Minister of Trade (SW). He sees nothing but advantages of having a floating currency. The present financial crisis is the result of banks in Euroland having behaved in an irresponsible manner which Swedish banks, being Swedish, have not. The former countries are now being punished whereas Sweden reaps its reward in the form of a weakening currency which all for the best and highly advantageous for the export industry. The huge number of employees that have been given notice in those industries may perhaps not agree.
“God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.” (Luke 18:11)