Euro not the way forward, say Danes

Poll reveals highest anti-euro sentiment since 2002, when pollster started asking

The Malo Seaways was hit by emergency flares over the weekeend (Photo: DFDS)
November 28th, 2011 4:25 pm| by admin
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Anti-euro sentiment has never been as high a new poll conducted by Megafon released today revealed.

Some 65 percent of Danes are against adopting the single currency, while only 24 percent would cast a ballot in favour if a vote were held tomorrow.

The results of the survey for TV2 and Politiken newspaper show the lowest level of approval for the euro since Megafon started asking Danes in 2002.

Two out of five people have developed a worse opinion of the euro since the beginning of the financial crisis, while only seven percent say their opinion has improved.

Half are relieved that Denmark rejected the euro in the 2001 referendum.

The poll, however, found that negative thoughts about the euro do not translate to full blown euro-scepticism.

Some 39 percent of respondents believe that the EU is necessary in order to tackle the economic crisis, while only 17 percent say they do not believe in the European project. A similar number (14 percent) would like Denmark to secede from the EU as soon as possible.

Political party Venstre long sought to involve Denmark in the EU and while MP Jakob Ellemann-Jensen understands why Danes feel negatively about the euro, he feels the current debt crisis is not the fault of the common currency.

“[Greece and Italy] have used more money than they had available and that’s not sustainable. It has nothing to do with the currency the use but the politics they run,” Ellemann-Jensen told Politiken.

MP Nikolaj Willumsen of the far-left political party Enhedslisten argued, however, that the euro played a part in GreeceÂ’s downfall.

Even with general disapproval of the euro, only 23 percent of Danes said eurozone countries that find themselves in financial trouble should be left to fend for themselves.

“It’s better that Danes are angry at the euro than the Greeks,” he told Politiken. “It would be great if the government – which takes on the EU presidency in January – would work to help the Greeks. So far help as just been provided to the French and German banks who loaned money to the Greek state.”

Jens Joel (Socialdemokraterne) argued that remaining within the EU was the right course of action for Denmark.

“Now it’s about creating a concrete and forward thinking plan that gets Greece on its feet, regulates the finance markets and invests in growth and employment,” Joel told Politiken.

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