Sweden may hold referendum on euro next year

SWEDEN - Goran Persson, Sweden's prime minister, yesterday indicated he was ready to hold a referendum on euro membership next year.

His remarks, a clear vote of confidence in the single currency just days after the successful introduction of notes and coins, are likely to influence the euro debate in the UK and Denmark.

Mr Persson outlined a timetable for Sweden to join the euro in 2005. He said a referendum was likely to be held next year, at the earliest in the spring. His comments, made in