SWEDES REJECT EURO
Very interesting: WaPo reports,
Swedish voters today appeared to reject adopting the common European currency, the euro, in a referendum overshadowed by the assassination last week of the popular, pro-European foreign minister, Anna Lindh.
Initial exit polls by the Swedish public television station SVT showed the “no” vote leading with 51.8 percent compared with 46.2 percent for the pro-euro “yes” side. Some 2 percent of the ballots were reported to be blank, confirming, at least initially, the prediction of some analysts that many Swedes might choose to cast their ballot as a show of support for democracy after Lindh’s death on Thursday , but were still undecided about the euro issue.
“I thought about this for I don’t know how long,” said one undecided voter, a 32-year-old junior high school teacher, voting under an unseasonably sunny sky in the western part of the capital. “I chose a blank ballot. I decided I can’t decide. But I wanted to use my right to vote.”
How exactly intentionally turning in a blank piece of paper exercises one’s right to vote is unclear. But the aggregate vote in favor of national sovereignty against what would seem an inexorable tide is interesting. Not only is it likely a futile effort, but it could well have adverse short-term consequences. As reported by Forbes,
European Commission President Romano Prodi predicted on Sunday that Sweden would lose influence in the European Union after voting “No” to swapping the crown for the EU’s single currency.
“Certainly, yes,” he told Swedish public television when asked if Sweden would lose influence by staying out of the euro.
“Last week I was in the euro group (of finance ministers) and they were discussing the future of the European economy and Sweden was not there.”
He said the ministers had hoped Sweden would join. But he held out hopes for closer cooperation, saying: “There is a possibility of working together and knowing each other much better.”