African Press International (API)

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Norway: Conservatives thinking Euro

Posted by African Press International on April 19, 2007

The deputy leader of Norway’s Conservative Party said Monday that it’s time for the country to reconsider EU membership, and even swapping the local currency (the krone) with the euro.

The euro balloon has begun to float over Norway.

PHOTO: Arkiv

“Norway has lying in EU hibernation for 13 years,” said Jan Tore Sanner of the Conservatives (Høyre). “We believe the time is ripe to evaluate whether anything has changed during those years.”

Norwegians have twice rejected membership in the European Union (EU), albeit by fairly narrow margins. The last referendum against joining the EU came in 1994, and most politicians have refused to bring up the controversial issue in any formal manner since.

Sanner, however, backs EU membership and was cheered by a report released Monday that analyzed use of the euro. It suggests that membership in the common euro currency cooperation strengthens the national economies of the participating countries, and contributes to a higher standard of living.

“Now we have time for a factual and impartial debate (on the EU and the euro) before we go down in the trenches,” Sanner said as a seminar called “The euro for Norway?” got underway.

Public opinion polls on EU membership continue to fluctuate in Norway, but even some former EU opponents now believe the EU is making greater strides in some area than Norway’s own government, not least in the area of environmental issues. The EU has recently been celebrating 50 years since the earliest formation of the European common market after World War II.

By Nina Berglund

Lifted and published by African Press in Norway, apn, africanpress@chello.no tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525 source.aftenposteneng

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