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Barát ready to hit ground as euro appointee

SLOVAKIA's new cabinet appointee for euro adoption, Igor Barát, takes his new post on February 15, and has already decided on his first steps in the job.

Barát said he would start by asking Finance Minister Ján Počiatek to call a meeting of the National Euro Adoption Co-ordination Committee as soon as possible. Slovakia intends to adopt the euro as of January 1, 2009.

"It's very important to prepare a report on the progress of the National Plan for Euro Adoption and submit it to the cabinet, as well as to update the plan," said Barát, who also wants to speed up preparations for an information campaign on euro adoption in Slovakia.

Barát, who is currently the spokesman of the central bank, was chosen for the new post by the government on January 31. The post has been vacant since July 2006, when previous government appointee Ivan Štefanec stepped down following general elections.

While at the central bank, Barát helped prepare the National Plan for Euro Adoption and the accompanying information campaign.

His main tasks in his new post will be to co-ordinate and promote the adoption of the euro, to communicate with ordinary citizens, entrepreneurs, and domestic and foreign institutions, and to hold regular meetings of the heads of the working committees.

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