A series of opionion polls last week must have dimmed the lights in the ECOFIN corridor in the Justus Lupsus building. Even the Trickster himself back in Frankfurt might allow hismelf a wry smile. It seems that the good peoples of the Baltics are not as convinced as their political classes of the efficacy of the Euro to solve their ills.
In Estonia the government plans to introduce the currency in just over a year, January 1st 2007. However according to a poll carried out by Emor it seems that they have yet to convince their population. 48% oppose the Euro, with 47% in favour (only 5% don’t know, pretty impressive). Damned close but just the wrong side of democratic legitimacy, I think you would agree.
South a bit we come to Latvia, here the government plans to wait a while well at least one more year, their planned date being 2008. However they too need to persuade their people, as a poll carried out by SKDS and released on the 12th has 49.1% in opposition whilst only 38.2% are in favour. Worse it seems the hopes of the government are under threat from high inflation rates – which it appears they might listen to, well at least more than they do their own population.
South a bit more and we arrive in the forested land of Lithuania, ancestral homeland of such luminaries as Leon Britton and Simon Schama. Here too the government plans to introduce the single currency on January 1st 2007, despite its population being less than enamoured. The opinion polling here, carried out by RAIT, has the population at 38% against and 28.4% in favour. This of course shouldn’t worry the government, after all they ratified the Constitution before there was a fully translated Lithuanian edition of the Constitution available for public scrutiny.