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Sweden says NO to the Euro

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.

26 comments to Sweden says NO to the Euro

  • Johan

    Right now, it’s 41.2% for YES and 56.7% for NO, and there’s just a few districts left to be counted.

    Tonight I will forget that I live in a socialist horsears and celebrate.

  • Johan

    And now when it’s more or less done (very few districts left to count), it is clear that Sweden has said NO with 56.3%, and YES landed on 41.6%.

    An unusually high votingparticipation (sorry, maybe there’s a better word for it in English) was noted: around 82%

    Will this have any bearing at all on the UK?

  • Andy Duncan

    Thank God, Brian (touching my wooden bedknob). I really thought the Lindh murder might tip the scales their way. Let’s hope all the exit polls are correct, and 273 million people aren’t voting YES in Johan’s last few districts.

    Let’s all cross everything we’ve got.

  • G Cooper

    Congratulations to the brave, sagacious Swedes!

    In answer to Johan’s question, I suspect it will increase the sense of despair among British Europhiles, who are already sensing that we have them on the run.

    That another major European nation has decided this ship of fools isn’t worth boarding, can only strengthen the hand of those of us who want completely out of this madness.

    But, to Johan, I would also add the caution: ‘brace yourself’. These bastards won’t give up. Expect repeated attempts until they get their way.

  • Johan

    With less than 50 districts, out of 5976, left to count, the very final numbers will most likely land on 56.1% for NO, and 41.8% for YES. A more clear NO you’ll have to look for. Another referendum on the EUro will not be spoken of for several years.

    The interesting is that the voting participation (again, I’m not sure that’s an appropriate term) was unusually high, at around 80-85%, is interesting and that it resulted in a NO even better. The strongest reason why people voted NO was because of democracy (lack of it within the EU) and sovereignity. What they didn’t bother much about was what the YES side propagated most for; peace in EUrope and participating with a greater sphere of influence in the EU.

    Luckily, the murder of Anna Lindh did not result in numerous sympathy votes, though her death did have a bearing on those who were uncertain. It was not, however, enough to threaten the NO side.

    All in all, I will party a bit more and wake up tomorrow not bothering too much that I live in a socialist hellhole. And G Cooper, thanks for the warning, I know we can’t let this matter rest in complete peace yet.

  • Shaun Bourke

    With such a decisive NO vote, and combining that with the economic ruin that is Froggieland and Krautland, anyone care to wager which will be the first country to bail-out of the EUro ?????

    It would seem to me that the time is now ripe to start sowing the seeds for a bail-out vote in places like Spain and Italy.

  • Guy Herbert

    So when’s the next vote scheduled for?

  • David Crawford

    I have a question about the vote percentages. Doesn’t 56.1% (NO) plus 41.8% (YES) add up to 97.9%?

    Mmkay, and the final 2.1% voted for what,
    “None of the above”,
    “I don’t know”,
    “I’m not sure”,
    “Jeez, I just can’t make up my mind”,
    “I could give a flying f**k”,

  • Johan

    The rest of the votes are blank votes. Neither yes or no.

    And as it is now, a next vote is not scheduled for at least a few years. But you never know…

  • Johan: “turnout” is the term that is normally used, although you could also call it the voting rate or participation rate (or even voting participation rate)–which you would if you were a political scientist sick of writing the word “turnout” seven times in a single paragraph.

  • David Crawford

    Johan, so let me get this straight. There were Swedes who humped it on down to the polling station in order to let everyone know they had no opinion on the matter? And on a Sunday no less, a day off. Okay.

  • Tony

    Great news!

    I’ve just checked out the BBC site at

    Their own exit poll of six people give five that said they voted ‘Yes’.

    How’s that then?

  • Ron


    To me, one very obvious country that ought to bail out is Ireland, that should join with Sterling.

    Since the UK and Ireland are both islands in the same part of the world (that even have a land border), it seems to me self-evident that their interests and economies ought to naturally converge if allowed to do so.

    However, we all know that political egos (Green and Orange) would never let that happen.

    This is even though Ireland reuniting with the UK would be the most practical peaceful long-term way of attaining a united Ireland – since once the border was eliminated it could never be reestablished; but geography would sooner or later lead to Irish self government.

  • Well, I’m with Guy Herbert.

    Let’s hope the Swedish establishment is nowhere near the French one.

    Else, they’ll recast that referendum until enough voters get bored for the “Yes” to pass.

  • MB

    I found this statement in an article over on CNN’s website: “Sunday’s vote is a consultative referendum, and is not binding. Sweden’s parliament will make the final decision on whether to approve or reject the currency.”

    I don’t follow Swedish politics too closely but, is there any chance the Swedish bureaucrats could simply ignore the will of the people and join up anyway?

  • G Cooper

    Tony asks:

    “Their own exit poll of six people give five that said they voted ‘Yes’.

    How’s that then?”

    Let’s see.. this is the BBC we’re talking about?

    I’d say there are two possibilities. 1/ they lied. 2/ They carefully selected their sample to give the result they wanted.

    In other words – they lied.

  • tallan

    Great Now how can the US use this to begin to lessen the impact of the EU and old Europe in the world?

  • Johan

    David Crawford,

    yes, you have the option of not voting yes or no and still vote. Of course, the other way to do that is to just stay home, but you can also vote blank. Don’t ask me why…


    it is most unlikely that the Swedish government will because 1) people would seriously be very angry and start a mob 2) the government, which is the Social Democrats, would not run the risk of not being reelected or go against the “will of the people” – that would be to comitt political suicide. Of course, I wouldn’t mind getting rid of them, but I wouldn’t like getting the EURO either. So, as it is now, no one on the YES side will try to join anyway.

    Chris Lawrence,

    thank you for the word….turnout turnout turnout…

  • Dave O'Neill

    To me, one very obvious country that ought to bail out is Ireland, that should join with Sterling.


    For that matter what makes you think the Irish would want that?

  • Ron


    Yes, they could go back to the punt.

    But the Irish have proved they no longer have any desire for economic sovereignty by joining the Euro.

    So it seems obvious to me that if there is a globally traded currency that they can use that is controlled by a people that share a common language and frequently many family connections with them, physical proximity, plus an economy that ought to be *naturally* convergent with theirs it would be sensible to leave the Euro that has none of these advantages, and join that globally traded currency.

    But as I said before, “… we all know that political egos (Green and Orange) would never let that happen.”

  • Brian Micklethwait


    Might there not also be an element of ego on the British, and particularly English side, not now wanting to be involved in any currency that those damn Irish seem now to be so enthusiastic about?

    Plus, I can see how green egos affect Ireland adopting the Euro rather than the pound, but what have orange egos to do with this?

  • Dave O'Neill


    I agree with most of what you say. However, its a little bit of a reach to say that the Euro is not globally traded.

    The UK and Irish economies are more naturally convergent and all the rest of it but there are strong historical reasons (Develera not withstanding) why the Sterling option is a non-starter.

  • Ron

    Brian and Dave,

    When I referred to Green and Orange egos, I was referring mainly to the politicians. I think that not only the Nationalist but also the Loyalist politicians derive a lot of their income, influence and satisfaction of their attention-seeking personalities with the continuance of the countries’ division.

    Ideally both Gerry Adams and Ian Paisley would become as relevant to the rest of us as the leaders of the two largest parties in (say) Taunton or Carlisle – but can you imagine them sacrificing their notorieties and income for that?

    And (going back to before DeValera) don’t forget that 200 or 300 years ago

    a) maybe the Irish working class were indeed terribly oppressed by the English ruling class – but so were 98% of the English working class too,

    b) many of the Irish “oppressors” were themselves Irish landowners.

  • Ron


    You are right that “…its a little bit of a reach to say that the Euro is not globally traded” but I wasn’t intending to imply inclusion of that condition, since all countries’ currencies are globally traded.

  • Dave O'Neill

    a) maybe the Irish working class were indeed terribly oppressed by the English ruling class – but so were 98% of the English working class too,

    True, a point often over looked by the more republican tendancy.

    Looking at the last 80 years, Dev’s economic “war” and the hardship that brought in was pretty grim but has left a bitter taste in many mouths about both his government and the British.

    I suspect the embracing of the EU has a lot to do with never being that vunerable again.

  • Diarmuid

    I hope that Britain never joins the EURO € as your kind will only hold back the rest of the EU as you’ll be too busy getting fcuked up the ass by America and happily asking for more by your American masters.