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Just say no to the euro

I am a skeptic of opinion polls but they have their uses. A recent poll suggests that Swedish voters are so far likely to say no to the single currency in the forthcoming referendum on whether Sweden should or should not sign up to The Project.

Notwithstanding the occasional wrinkle in official economic data, it seems pretty clear that the “core” nations of Euroland – Germany and France – are mired in economic difficulty and their labours are hardly likely to make it easier for the Swedish political elite to sell the euro to their electorate.

Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph reports that the ongoing wrangle about whether UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and his government “sexed up” the dossier about Iraq WMDs has so damaged the public’s perception of Blair that a referendum on the euro looks farther away than ever.

Here’s hoping.

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13 comments to Just say no to the euro

  • Brian Micklethwait

    I’m not sure enough of this to try to make a posting out of it, but it occurs to me that the Iraq row might not be so much as reason for us not now having a Euro referendum, as an excuse.

    After all, they’ve been postponing this thing for years now. Why not carry on postponing it? It could be very bad for the government, so why wouldn’t they just, you know, not do it?

    In other words it’s not “events dear boy” making them not do it, it’s them using whatever events come their way (and there’s bound to be something eventing away at any given moment) to not do it.

    I don’t know. Just a thought.

  • Guy Herbert

    The Economist, however, notes that while the Swedes are getting less keen Danish opposition to the Euro is softening.

  • Julian Morrison

    They’re using their usual poll strategy. Dither until they can catch a random opinion fluctuation that’s favorable to their cause.

  • Dave

    The Economist, however, notes that while the Swedes are getting less keen Danish opposition to the Euro is softening.

    I was in Denmark last week and Euro’s were accepted everywhere I went.

    I’m off to Sweden today and I must admit getting Krowns for a 2 day trip is annoying when I already have plenty of Euros.

  • EU Delenda Est

    Well, gosh, Dave, those selfish Swedes are pretty self-centred, annoying you like that with their ancient currency! Jeeez! Do mention while you’re there that henceforth you’d appreciate their considering your convenience when making decisions about their national sovereignty.

  • Shaun Bourke

    The long-term viability of the Euro, I would suggest, is about zero. Russia is about to, if not already, become the primary and major supplier of petroleum based energy sources to Euroland. These purchases are being paid for in Euros. However the Ruskies are not returning the Euros in the form of payments for goods and services of similar value but are using the rising value of the Euro as an indirect duty to protect local suppliers….”local substitutation”.

    Recent financial reports out of Russia in the past year or so have shown sharp rises in Russia’s Forex……especially in gold, rises of which are way beyond known mining in Russia….which suggests that Russia is then exchanging Euros for gold.

    As the actual value in the marketplace for Euros continues to hedge up, coupled with declining exports from Euroland…..especially the U.S. tourist trade each summer to Froggieland and her hangers-on….the outlook for Euroland’s Euro is indeed bleak.

    In the event the Euroland Central Bank is indeed purchasing Euros from Russia for gold in an attempt to court more countries into converting to/using the Euro, you have the perfect setting for a massive depression in Euroland and many of the fringe countries sitting beside it.

  • We must not forget that it is not just the Euro that is obnoxious but all statist fiat currency. The pound is not something worth hanging onto for its own sake, it is merely that the Euro is just so much more egregious, we have unfortunately become entangled in fighting a rearguard action against the Euro to stave off total disaster and this distracts us from putting the positive case for a genuine free market currency. Fight the Euro by all means but don’t bother to talk up Sterling.

  • Brian,

    The point is that Tony can’t win so Tony won’t play. Not now, not tomorrow, not in the next parliament.

    Dave,

    There was a time when economic sovereignty meant wreckless, boom-bust chancellors (the last one was Nigel Lawson), whilst Germany was stable and serene. With the ECB that serenity was meant to transfer to all Europe and only good times would roll.

    Now that picture has changed around. The main Euro economies are structurally compromised and locked ito a long-term decline unless they liberalise (and scrap the rigidity of central bank control). No boom, just bust. We meanwhile, even under “Tax me, it’s Gordon Brown”, are the ones experiencing stability and an infinitely more hopeful outlook as the US economy sparks into life.

    The Euro enthusiasts know this. Consequently, the only reason put forward now for adopting the Euro is its convenience for travelling across Europe – the one you often put forward yourself, in fact.

    Dave, is your convenience is more influential in your life than the long-term economic freedom and prosperity of your country? Would you really vote “yes” if Brian M got his wish and Tone called a referendum tomorrow?

  • Dave

    Guessed,

    I work for a global professional services organisation and I’ve worked in Professional Services for the last 10 years.

    Variable currencies across Europe and different currencies cost me a small fortune, in fact, they can be a disaster for my business which, frankly, means the most to me.

    I´m a businessman and making money is my key objective. The Euro has made my life easier where it has been brought in and I look forward to it in the UK.

    I am I selfish putting my business needs before ” those selfish Swedes” and “their ancient currency” – damn right!

  • Dave

    Do mention while you’re there that henceforth you’d appreciate their considering your convenience when making decisions about their national sovereignty.

    Yes, in fact I discussed this very point with my boss this evening in Sweden over dinner. He agreed that it was insane that we had to spend a portion of this evening arguing with a Danish taxi driver over the cost in Krowns of a trip which ended up being paid for in Krona while everybody was arguing in Euros.

    Not to mention the business costs we all incur of conversions.

  • Jonathan L

    Dave

    Of course your business is in no way impacted by recession or inflation sparked by wrong interest rates is it!!!! Only the tiny annoyance of changing money has any impact on it.

    The vast majority of businesses whose most distant customer lives in the next town will be pleased to share the pain caused by single currency and the fact that they will gain nothing from it is of no concern as long as you are happy.

    Learn a thing or two about hedging for currency risk or give up and go home

  • Guy Herbert

    Not to mention the business costs we all incur of conversions.

    In the absence of common clearing system, non-cash transactions in euro still incur some amazing costs.

  • Dave O'Neill

    Johnathon,

    Of course your business is in no way impacted by recession or inflation sparked by wrong interest rates is it!!!! Only the tiny annoyance of changing money has any impact on it.

    To be honest, yes, this is the case. Only the “tiny annoyance” has, in the past elimated all profit on consulting agreements because of exchange rate changes like going from 2.5DM to 3.2DM.

    Guy, yes it can, but you can resolve that if your business is suitably organised.