Wednesday

21st Oct 2020

Swedish government in open euro war

The truce in Sweden's government on the euro issue was broken on Thursday when Leif Pagrotsky, minister of trade, demanded that the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise state how much money it will spend on working for a Yes to EMU.

The Confederation embraces state owned enterprises and should be transparent, says Mr Pagrotsky, ahead of the euro referendum on 14 September.

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In radio interview on Thursday, Mr Pagrotsky referred to information published by the organisation Social Democrats Against EMU that the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise is going to spend 200-300 million Swedish kronor (€21-32m euro) on a campaign for a yes to Swedish EMU membership, according to several Swedish media.

Mr Pagrotsky did not question the Confederation's right to campaign for a yes, but appealed for transparency on the issue.

He referred to the fact that a number of state owned enterprises are members of the Confederation and that these should adhere to the policy of transparency in public administration.

Mr Pagrotsky also expressed worry that political issues in Sweden might, like in the USA, come to be decided by those who could invest most money in the campaign.

According to Dagens Nyheter, the board of the Confederation decided not to publish the amount set aside for the EMU yes campaign.

The Confederation's press spokesman, Fredrik Karlsson, said the money for the campaign is taken from a conflict fund created at a time when no state-owned enterprises were members.

Five of the 22 members of Göran Persson's Social democratic government have criticized his EMU policy in public, and on Thursday environment minister Lena Sommestad concluded an EMU critical article in Aftonbladet with the words: "I am going to vote no in the EMU referendum".

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