Support for euro hits all-time low in Sweden
Swedish support for the EU is declining and the support for the euro has never been lower, according to a report published Monday (6 May) by the University of Gothenburg.
Just 9% of the Swedes would today want the euro as the national currency. At the same time, 42% of those surveyed support EU membership, down from 53% in 2010.
"The euro has, whether or not this is true, been blamed for the problems in the European economy. And indirectly that has hit the Swedish economy," Sören Holmberg, a political science professor at the University of Gothenburg, told Sweden's Radio.
The report shows the Swedes' opinions on different aspects of the EU, from trust in the European Parliament to how Sweden's EU membership has affected its domestic alcohol policies.
The result is clear - all confidence curves for the EU have declined since the euro crisis began in 2010.
Holmberg said the economic crisis was all decisive for the rising eurosceptisism in Sweden.
"The Swedes are opportunistic as many other countries' people are and right now the EU gets a big part of the blame for the economic crisis which is also affecting the public opinion in Sweden," Holmberg said.
Sweden's EU Affairs Minister Birgitta Ohlsson said she is worried about the negative figures, adding that she as a minister and other politicians have a responsibility for the negative way the figures look.
"I think we need to have more debate. And it's up to the political parties to discuss and debate the EU questions more and show how they affect us in our everyday lives, how they affect the individual. There we have some homework to do," Ohlsson stated.
The EU minister added that her Liberal People's party does not demand a euro referendum any time soon.
"But we don't pretend we don't think that in the future, the euro should be the currency in Sweden also," Ohlsson said.
Sweden does not currently use the euro and has no plans to replace the krona in the near future.
Sweden is obliged under the Treaty of Maastricht to adopt the euro at some point in the future.
Under the 1994 Treaty of Accession, Sweden has to join the eurozone once it meets the necessary conditions. Sweden maintains being part of ERM II is a required criterion and joining ERM II is voluntary, giving Sweden a de facto opt out.
Marita Ulvskog, a Swedish MEP from the Socialists & Democrats group in the European Parliament, said she could understand the mistrust in the EU and the euro:
"It is of course very strange to people to believe in a cooperation which they only view as a crisis cooperation, a permanent crisis with permanent incapacity. You can't have both Greece and Germany in the same currency union without creating a tough political union, and people are not ready to do that; to give away so much autonomy."