Danish public opinion turns against the euro

danish-kroner3A clear majority of Danes are against joining the euro, despite widespread approval of the move last month. According to a survey by Danske Bank, 55 percent would vote against adopting the shared currency if a referendum were held today. In an almost complete reversal of the last survey in March, only 43 percent June respondents would vote in favour.

The figures demonstrate the largest opposition to the euro seen since the 2000 referendum, when 53 percent of Danes were against signing up. At this point, almost 47 percent were keen to join the common currency.

“An obvious explanation is that for the Danes, the euro resembles a project that has failed. There is no wish to be bound to Greece. The euro is a sinking ship – and with the Danish krone we have our own little boat to sail away in. That is an option Danes want to maintain,” said Aarhus University EU expert Derek Beach in a report by Politiken.

Beach went on to say that the Danes are also worried about the effect that joining the euro would have on Danish economic policy.

“If the euro is to be saved, then reforms are necessary. That probably means that the economic side of the euro has to be developed. Like introducing strict rules for the monetary policy that governments can carry out in their countries. This could, for example, be that the Commission must approve budgets, and Danish opposition can be an expression of an opposition to that sort of outside meddling,” he said.

Both the parliamentary majority and the Danish government are in favour of joining the eurozone, but any decision can only follow a referendum. Plans for a public vote on the issue during the current electoral period have, however, been dropped.

As well as choosing to opt out of the European Monetary Union so far, Denmark also keeps its distance from the wider EU in several other areas of cooperation, such as defence, home affairs and justice.

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