Prime Minister Robert Fico believes that the timing of Slovakia’s adoption of the euro at the beginning of 2009 was absolutely correct. He said that Slovakia introduced the new currency in the ideal moment from the political as well as social point of view, with regard to the impacts of the economic crisis, the SITA newswire wrote.
“I am convinced that the euro changeover is an exceptional historic success of the Slovak Republic and I am very proud that the euro introduction will be connected in particular with the government of which I am the prime minister,” Fico said at a conference dedicated to the first year of the euro adoption in Slovakia prepared by the European Commission’s Representation Office in Slovakia in cooperation with the National Bank of Slovakia (NBS), as quoted by SITA.
In his address, the prime minister criticized the opposition for preferring parochialism and narrow political ambitions to a universal support of the euro introduction.
In response, a deputy from the Slovak Democratic and Christian Coalition (SDKÚ), Ivan Štefanec, rejected the allegation and added that the opposition supported the euro changeover in parliament.
“I personally am very glad that the current government completed the process that the former government began,” Štefanec told SITA and added that the date of the euro adoption in Slovakia on January 1, 2009 was set in the summer of 2005. The current government, which was formed in 2006, initially hesitated in accepting it and only later decided to introduce the new currency as of that date.
NBS Governor Ivan Šramko stated that the global economic crisis enhanced the importance of the euro for Slovakia and noted that a majority of the direct benefits of the new currency have already been witnessed. Šramko said, for instance, that transaction costs have dropped, although less than had been expected and that capital costs have partially shrunk, as exchange risk has been eliminated. The euro in itself is not an answer to everything. Correct economic policy will be the key to fulfillment of its long-run potential, the bank governor said.
Finance Minister Ján Počiatek believes that a longer time is needed to evaluate the euro’s advantages and disadvantages. He considers a better accessibility of funding to finance the state to be the main advantage of the new currency for Slovakia.
“The possibilities that Slovakia has today for borrowing money are much better and more comfortable than in countries which do not yet use the euro,” said Počiatek. SITA
Compiled by Michaela Stanková from press reports
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