The estimated probability of Slovakia adopting the euro on the planned date of January 1, 2009, increased from its February level of 80 percent to a record-high of 82 percent in March, according to a survey by the Institute for Economic and Social Reforms (INEKO) and the Club of Economic Analysts (KEA), Peter Goliáš from INEKO told SLOVAKIA.
The positive development is partly due to preliminary estimates issued by the Finance Ministry, which has announced that the public finance deficit for 2007 stood at 2.16 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), which is far below the 3-percent Maastricht-criterion limit. Analysts expect that Slovakia will also be shown to have complied with the inflation criterion by a wide margin by the end of March. Some warn, however, that inflation will rise above the Maastricht limit in only a few months, and that this may prove to be a long-term trend.
"Most economists understand this clearly, but given Slovakia's fulfillment of the part of the inflation criterion that is related to the development of prices over the past 12 months, it will be easier from the political point of view for the EU to let Slovakia join the Eurozone," said former finance ministry state secretary Vladimír Tvaroška.
Compared to the survey in February, analysts expect a stronger koruna-euro final changeover rate, with 32.44 SKK/EUR being the average estimate. The latest survey featured the opinions of 19 economic analysts, 17 of whom believe that Slovakia will adopt the euro on the planned date, with only the remaining two being of the opposite opinion. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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