According to a new Gallup poll published in Berlingske Tidende, support for
the euro in Denmark has not been lower since 2001.
The poll suggests that the population is divided into two equal groups – 42%
in favour and 42% against. As late as November last year, 51% of the Danes
were willing to replace their currency.
DPP: The government’s own fault
The Liberal-Conservative minority government’s euro-sceptical support
party, the Danish People’s Party, hopes the new poll will make Prime
Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen drop his plans for a euro-referendum.
“Now that the worst turmoil in connection with the financial crisis has
subsided more people can see that the krone is a highly stable project,”
said DPP EU-spokesman Morten Messerschmidt. “It is a good idea to stay away
from changing a country’s currency policy if it is only possible to find
support in half of the population,” he added.
Messerschmidt believes the government is to blame for the population’s
reaction because the prime minister and the rest of the government led a
scare campaign, while the central bank Nationalbanken raised the interest
rate in order to defend the krone.
At the time Fogh Rasmussen maintained that it would be expensive for the Danes
to stay outside the Eurozone . Since then the interest rate gap has been
reduced to one single percentage point.
Opposition: Wrong strategy
The opposition Socialist People’s Party also believes Fogh Rasmussen’s
strategy has been a mistaken one. SPP Chairman Villy Søvndal says it was
wrong of the prime minister to use the financial crisis as a stepping stone
for a campaign to replace the krone with euro. “(To exchange the krone) is a
long-term decision. It should not be made on the basis of an atypical
situation such as the financial crisis,” Søvndal told politiken.dk.
The accusations were rejected by Liberal EU spokesman Michael Aastrup Jensen:
“It is actually expensive , both in economic and political terms, to remain
outside the euro. There is still an interest rate gap that can be felt, and
once the Lisbon Treaty has been ratified the influence of the euro-group
will be even greater,” he says.
Several EU experts, however, believe that Fogh Rasmussen has scored an own
goal by linking a euro referendum to the financial crisis.
In a referendum on September 28, 2000, Danish voters rejected the euro with
53.9 percent against and 46.9 percent in favour.