Central bank helping the crown

THE NATIONAL Bank of Slovakia (NBS) yesterday intervened in favor of the Slovak currency, which had dropped to 38.55 SKK/EUR due to the slow progress of talks on the creation of a new government.

The market fluctuated as fears of the formation of a Smer-HZDS-SNS coalition prevailed. On Euro adoption, Smer chairman Robert Fico reiterated yesterday that he will respect the planned deadline for adoption in 2009, provided that it is advantageous for the people.

He also blamed the outgoing government for high inflation, which could delay euro adoption by endangering the fulfillment of the Maastricht criteria.

Bank dealers expect the NBS will continue to defend the Slovak currency. Zdenko Štefanides, an analyst with VÚB bank, believes key interest rates will be raised from 4 to 4.5 percent in July, Pravda wrote.

Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports

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