Denmark’s Prime Minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, has announced that he hopes a referendum will be called to decide whether Denmark should join the eurozone, and adopt the euro as its official currency. Rasmussen hopes to ensure cross-party support for the idea before calling a referendum – especially from the Socialist People’s Party, which opposed the move in the last referendum in 2000. There are currently 15 member states in the eurozone, and the recent global financial crisis has put the issue at the forefront for many smaller countries who are feeling the pressure.
Iceland’s recent banking meltdown helped push the possibility of adopting the euro in Denmark into public discussion, which wouldn’t happen until 2011 at the earliest. Rasmussen told EurActiv at the European Liberal Democrats’ yearly congress in Stockholm: “The financial crisis has made it visible that there is a clear cost of staying outside the eurozone.”
“The decisions taken by the Eurogroup have a direct effect on Denmark, without Denmark having a seat at the table,” the prime minister explained, offering 2011 as a potential date for a referendum on the issue. The Danish PM himself is a strong supporter of joining the euro, but notes that it will never happen without the consensus of the Danish people.
The last time a referendum was held concerning the euro, Danes voted to keep their Danish krone by a margin of 53 per cent to 47 per cent. This suggests that many Danes are in favour of joining the single currency, and in the wake of the ongoing banking crisis it may be just enough to tip the scales in favour of the euro.