Well, following a sad week in Sweden, the referendum today saw a majority “NO” vote, to join the Euro currency. Citing all sorts of crazy and not so crazy reasons, slightly over 50 percent of voting Swedes did not want to become a part of the single European Currency. Despite the fact that they are members of the EU, they are part of the European labour and travel agreements, the common agricultural policy, they vote for their own EU parliamentarians, they benefit from EU trade and trade agreements. All this, but it seems, not the currency.
This puts them in the company of the United Kingdom, which has long kept one foot in Europe and one foot, well, somewhere else. And Denmark, another fair-weather EU friend.
While the values of democracy and choice are important ones, the neverending rhetoric by anti-EU conservatives is borderline apacalyptic – as if all the other 11 countries all ready using the currency have lost their welfare systems, trade volume, sovereignty or identity. By playing on people’s fears, you can get people to vote any which way.
Democracy is an interesting and valueable practice. But when it comes to economics and trade, what makes the average person a qualified expert?
Lucky for Sweden they can follow the British example by enjoying the benefits of the EU and making as few commitments as possible. Lucky for Sweden that Europe will still be there when they change their minds.