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In September 2003, Sweden will, by means of a national referendum, decide if it intends to join the euro, and yet another European Union member state is likely to adopt this exciting new currency.

In a speech on 27 November 2002, Kristina Persson, deputy chief of Sweden's central bank, the Riksbank, conceded that there were a few potential disadvantages to Sweden's euro membership, but stressed that the advantages should outweigh these. She said 'While large Swedish corporations already enjoy many of the advantages of using the euro, joining the euro may be essential for small and medium size enterprises. I believe that there might be a tendency in the Swedish debate to overstate the gains from having a flexible exchange rate (outside the eurozone). Our recent experience shows that a small currency (such as the Swedish krone), on the highly volatile financial markets, risks being more affected than the bigger currencies by factors outside of its control.' That is to say, Sweden will be safer in many ways within the eurozone.

While Sweden deliberates, the International Numismatic Agency has produced a limited number of pattern or prototype euro coins to demonstrate that Swedish coinage could still look good, if in the next few years the country adopts the euro and says farewell, (after several centuries) to the krone and ore. The pattern 5, 2 and 1 euro, 50 cent, 20 cent and 10 cent in this collection feature a modernistic profile- a monarchic composite- as the series commemorates the death, 30 years ago, of the last Swedish king, Gustav VI.

The 5, 2 and 1 cent patterns feature the Swedish ship Vasa. Reverse designs by Donald R. Golder, symbolise peace, justice and commerce. The reverse of the pattern 5 euro depicts a female figure (representing Sweden) with a cornucopia – adapted from a 19th century Malmo medallion by Lea Ahlborn. The 17th century restored Swedish ship theVasa is in the background..

These designs have been submitted to the Swedish Riksbank. Kristina Persson has written to INA stating that the Riksdage (Swedish Parliament) will make a design decision after ratifying Euro entry.

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