It’s around 8 pm London time, and so far the result is only in the form of exit polls, but it looks, touch wood, as if Sweden has voted NO to the EUro.
An exit poll suggests that Sweden has narrowly voted to reject the euro, in a referendum days after the killing of Foreign Minister Anna Lindh.
The Swedish television poll of 7,000 people gives the No side 51.8% to the Yes side’s 46.2%.
Preliminary results are expected at 1930 GMT (2130 local time), one-and-a-half hours after polls closed.
Lindh was the main face of the Yes campaign, and her stabbing in a Stockholm department store appeared to trigger a last-minute sympathy vote.
Anna Lindh murdered. The Swedish establishment united in favour of the EUro. Yet still they couldn’t bully it through.
The establishment here is anything but united if favour of the EUro, so this result means that Britain is that much more unlikely to be joining it in the foreseeable future. So this is a big blow to the entire project.
I’ve been watching a EUro-yes-man on the TV saying that if Britain stays out of the EUro, that means that we’ll be in the same silly position as we’ve been in for the last fifty years, namely playing “catch-up”. We will eventually, grudgingly, joining a EUro-institution which we had very little part in shaping. But that’s a double-edged argument, because there is another way for Britain to be more decisive about the EU as a whole. We could get the hell right out of it. We wouldn’t be playing catch-up then, would we? The chances are, if the EU doesn’t meanwhile improve its economic policies, that we’d be the ones they’d then be trying to catch up with. Which is why I’ve never understood this argument that non-membership of the EU, or of the EUro, will diminish Britain’s power. Do you reckon that Sweden today is having no major impact upon the European Union?
Did Hong Kong, by “staying out of China” for so long, have no influence on China, just because its political bosses didn’t constantly share dinners with Red China’s bosses and constantly get told what to do by them, in exchange for the occasional “concession”, concerning, I don’t know, not locking up dissidents for a few more years? Did Hong Kong, by “going it alone”, thereby deny to itself “power”?
Meanwhile Estonia, in contrast, is definitely voting YES to joining the European Union as a whole, by a big margin. Having visited Estonia for several days about twelve years ago, I know all about that place. They were dead set on getting into the EU then, and on paying whatever was the price of entry, basically to protect themselves against any future that Russians might one day dream up for them. So it’s no surprise to me that this is still their majority attitude now. And if they don’t get any protection against Russia, they’ll leave the EU and look for another club to join.