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TOO LATE TO DISCUSS TERM FOR EURO ADOPTION

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GOVERNOR of the National Bank of Slovakia (NBS) Ivan Šramko thinks that opening a discussion about whether it is advantageous to enter the eurozone on January 1, 2009 is not appropriate at this point. "We have repeatedly said that we welcome discussions by experts about the suitability of the date; however, at this time it is misplaced. It should have been discussed, and really was discussed, in 2004 and 2005 when the starting date was decided," Šramko said at a conference about the entry of Slovakia into the eurozone on January 18, the Hospodárske Noviny daily wrote.

GOVERNOR of the National Bank of Slovakia (NBS) Ivan Šramko thinks that opening a discussion about whether it is advantageous to enter the eurozone on January 1, 2009 is not appropriate at this point. "We have repeatedly said that we welcome discussions by experts about the suitability of the date; however, at this time it is misplaced. It should have been discussed, and really was discussed, in 2004 and 2005 when the starting date was decided," Šramko said at a conference about the entry of Slovakia into the eurozone on January 18, the Hospodárske Noviny daily wrote.

Now, discussion of the advantageousness of the January 2009 date, says Šramko, would only bring about chaos and make citizens uncertain.

"Now it is necessary to discuss what the risks are and how to cope with them," said the governor.

The opposition Christian-Democratic Movement (KDH), raised the only voice against the adoption of the European single currency in Slovakia as of next January.

KDH leader Pavol Hrušovký said on January 17 that adoption of the euro in Slovakia in 2009 is not mandatory and may be harmful not only to the economy, but also to the majority of its citizens, the SITA newswire wrote. The KDH does not consider the speedy adoption of the common European currency by the Slovak Republic next year as the correct decision and understands it to be more a matter of political prestige.

The opposition party thinks that the question today is not whether Slovakia should adopt the euro, but when it will be most advantageous for the country. KDH sees the main risks to be the loss of its own currency and independent monetary policy, as well as the loss or reduction of the Slovak economy's competitive strength.

Of the parliamentary parties, the KDH is the only one pushing for postponement of the euro adoption and the party representatives themselves admit that there is only a slight chance that they would get necessary support for measures leading to later arrival of the euro.

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