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Swedes Reject Euro - 2003-09-15


Swedish voters have rejected the euro as their country's currency.

56 percent of the (5.4 million) votes cast in Sunday's referendum were against adopting European Union's single currency, 42 percent were in favor.

Euro supporters argued that Sweden cannot be a full member of the European Union and keep its own currency. Opponents said scrapping the krona would harm a healthy economy and jeopardize Sweden's liberal welfare system.

The defeat came despite a surge in pro-euro sentiment in the wake of last week's murder of Foreign Minister Anna Lindh -- a fervent euro advocate.

Swedish police have yet to solve the fatal stabbing of Ms. Lindh in a downtown Stockholm department store last Wednesday. On Sunday, they released surveillance camera pictures of the man wanted for questioning in the case.

The pictures show a dark-haired man wearing a baseball cap and a Nike shirt. His face is clearly visible.

Police say the pictures match the description given by witnesses to the attack that stunned the Scandinavian nation.

The killing brought back grim memories of the 1986 assassination of Prime Minister Olof Palme -- shot to death as he walked home from a theater. His killer has never been found.

Ms. Lindh died just after dawn Thursday after surgeons worked nearly 12 hours to save her life.

Information for this report is provided by AP and AFP.

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