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Danish public divided over support to euro zone debtors, analysts question further bailouts

02-16-2011 15:59 BJT

COPENHAGEN, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- The Danish population is neither for, nor against, giving more financial support to cash- strapped euro zone countries, a public opinion poll revealed Tuesday.

But Danish analysts are questioning the wisdom of bigger support packages to euro zone countries facing a sovereign debt crisis.

The poll, commissioned by Denmark's Jyllands-Posten newspaper, and conducted by Ramboell Analyse, a consultancy, asked whether Denmark should provide further financial support to cash- strapped euro zone countries, with an aim to stabilizing the European economy.

According to Jyllands-Posten, Some 44.6 percent of respondents said 'yes' to supporting the euro zone, and 47 percent said 'no', while the remaining 8.4 percent were undecided. A Ramboell spokesperson told Xinhua that the poll was carried out last week, and sampled 1,000 people.

FIFTY TO FIFTY

"The Danes have always been more-or-less 50 percent for, and 50 percent against, helping the euro zone," said Professor Jesper Rangvid, Institute for Finance, Copenhagen Business School, in a telephone interview with Xinhua.

"You can say it reflects the general attitude towards Europe itself: that Danes are more-or-less split."

Rangvid acknowledged that Denmark has problems with budget deficits and public spending, but was relatively better off than euro zone countries.

"Our deficits are not big compared to Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Greece. And the reason why our interest rate (on government bonds) is low is because we are viewed as a relatively stable country." This awareness of core stability could explain the evenly balanced poll result.

Denmark is a member of the 27-country European Union (EU) but not of the 17-member euro common currency zone. It voted to retain use of its own currency, the Danish krone, in a referendum in 2000.

So far, Denmark's payouts to stricken EU states have been rather limited. Along with all 27 EU members, it is liable to pay into a 60 billion euro fund, which is part of a staggering 750 billion euro financial rescue package jointly funded by euro zone members and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and established in 2010. Denmark also offered 400 million euro in bilateral loans as part of a rescue package for Ireland's economy last year, in addition to its share of loan payments made to Ireland via the IMF and EU.


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