Danes want out of opt-outs

According to a new survey organised by the Gallup Institute, 60 per cent of the Danish population is in favour of joining the euro. The poll also indicates that most Danes would like their country to give up its opt-outs on defence policy and justice and home affairs.

The poll was published by Berlingske Tidende on the day of the 10th anniversary of the first Danish referendum on the Maastricht Treaty. As a result of this referendum, the EU decided to allow Denmark four exceptions ("opt-outs") on several EU policies, including cooperation on defense, police and monetary matters. The Danish voters then approved the Treaty in May 1993.

60 per cent of the Danes would now be in favour of euro membership, whereas 34 per cent prefer to stick to their own currency. Next to Denmark, only Sweden and the UK have not introduced the euro on 1 January 2002.

The result of the poll will put pressure on the centre-right government to organise a referendum on the euro. Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen has announced recently that no new referendum would be organised before the Nice Treaty is ratified.

Denmark is taking over the Presidency of the Union from Spain on 1 July 2002.


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