Rich Faroe Islands may adopt euro Published: 12 August, 2009
THE Faroe Islands, one of northern Europe’s most productive fishing countries, may decide to adopt the Euro as its national currency.
The islands’ influential Independence Party has applied to the central bank of the European Union to replace the Danish krona, which it has used for more than a century, with the euro.
What gives the move extra credence is that it has come to an agreement on this thorny issue with the Republic party. A public referendum has to take place on the possible changing of currency before the Faroese parliament, Logtingid, makes the final decision, according to Faroese news source Kringvarp Foroya. However, the move is unlikely to lead to an application for full EU membership at this stage, but with neighbours Iceland possibly joining the euro some think it would make economic sense.
The semi-independent Faroe Islands – Denmark now only looks after defence and certain international affairs – is heavily dependent on fishing. It has a large fishing fleet and more than 80 fish processing factories, many of which are major exporters to the eurozone and also the UK. In fact fisheries products, including farmed salmon, represent 95 per cent of total exports.
The country is also fiercely protective of its rich and highly productive fishing grounds. There are no EU style quotas as such – instead each vessel is allocated a certain number of fishing days and grounds can be closed off during key breeding periods or if stocks appear to be threatened.