Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sweden, the Euro, and the End of Days

These days all eyes are on Greece and everyone is waiting to see if they will be driven to bankruptcy or rescued once again at the last minute by the powers that be (Germany, Belgium, France to the rescue!)

But what about Sweden? What does this mean for Sweden? This really remains anyone's guess, and I wonder if that is the reason many Swedish newspapers are just kind of choosing to cover this in a rather minimalistic fashion. Because really if I went by the information in my morning paper, the stuff going on in Greece is just a minor kerfuffle.

I mean the US press is pretty certain this is a sign of the end of days for all of Europe. All of that maternity leave, 40 hour work week, 5 week vacation greediness that is the European way of life cannot be sustainable, can it? Europeans will be eaten alive by their own greed.

But then there is Sweden. Sweden voted on the Euro a bunch of years ago, and the vote was a resounding NO! Despite a large push and campaign led by the current powers that be, the Moderates, they were not in power at the time and the Swedish population voted to maintain their own currency independent of the Euro, unlike the Danes who didn't switch to the Euro, but allowed themselves to be tied to it (And no I don't really understand how that works in actuality I only know it means they are kind of screwed at the moment).

So Swedish currency, the kronor or SEK, remains rather strong and stable.

Swedes weren't always happy about the choice. When the US financial situation took a hit and the Euro looked like the safe bet, people called for a revote and blamed the Social Democrats for not getting into the Euro while the getting was good.

But now? Now we know better. Now everyone is thrilled Sweden is not tied to the Euro. But does that mean Sweden will be better off? Hard to say, I mean, we are still attached to Europe by that bridge to Denmark. We are still members of the European Union. (See how I'm using WE? I'm even more integrated than I thought).

Even if Sweden isn't tied to the Euro, I think they will be hit pretty hard if the financial crisis spirals out of control and sends Greece into bankruptcy, but I don't think they will be hit as hard as others.

But I say that once again home on a VAB, being paid to care for my sick child, who spent the whole day on my lap and is now finally taking a short nap.


  1. The social democrats were for the euro, weren't they?

  2. No they were against, since they, vänsterpartiet and miljöpartiet have to agree. the blue ones, moderaterna and their fellas are for the euro. (at least wants another vote)

  3. No The Social Democrats where for it, or at least their leadership was (the party was rather split over it). Leading Socaldemocrats campaigned together with Moderats and two of their three current partners in govermnet for the Euro, Vänsterpartiet, Miljöpartiet and the Centerpartiet(currently in governmnet with the Moderats)campaigned againt it, togetehr with not so few rebellious socialdemocrats.

    /another Anonymous

  4. Fredrik AnderssonMarch 26, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    The main upside of being outside the Euro is the ability of the Riksbank to be able to set interest rates that are in tune with the Swedish economy instead of just accepting whatever the ECB in Frankfurt thinks is good for the German and French economies. Being able to borrow at essentially German rates is what set the Greeks on the road to ruin.