Denmark’s decision not to adopt the euro 20 years ago has put the country in a “favourable” position in Europe, according to the foreign minister, Villy Søvndal (Socialistisk Folkeparti).
“I think that everyone recognises after the crisis that it was a very wise decision that allows us to build bridges in a flexible Europe,” Søvndal told Jyllands-Posten newspaper. Our position is that we want to participate in practical partnerships, which makes sense and is an advantage for Denmark.”
Former foreign minister Uffe Elleman-Jensen (Venstre), who attempted to get the country to adopt the single currency 20 years ago, called Søvndal’s comments “nonsense”.
“Denmark is, for all intent and purpose, a member of the eurozone, only with zero influence or protection,” Elleman-Jensen told Jyllands-Posten. “I have no idea what he means that we can ‘be a bridge’. We cannot be both in and out and the same time.”
MEP Morten Messerschmidt (Dansk Folkeparti) accused Søvndal of engaging in “pure populism” by playing into recent polls showing the number of Danes opposed to adopting the euro is increasing.
“The government owes the public a clear answer about its policy,” Messerschmidt told Belingske newspaper. “Søvndal’s announcement is nothing but hot air thought up by a spin doctor.”
Both PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt (Socialdemokraterne) and the economy minister, Margrethe Vestager (Radikale), have argued in favour of Denmark becoming the 18th country to adopt the euro.