THE LEADER of the ruling coalition’s Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party, Richard Sulík, has sparked heated debate among Slovak economists and politicians after writing in an op-ed piece for the Hospodárske Noviny financial daily that Slovakia should stop blindly trusting eurozone leaders and prepare a ‘plan B’ for reintroduction of the country’s previous currency, the Slovak crown.
“We are a country too small to significantly influence the actions of the EU; so at least we have to protect the wealth that the people living in Slovakia have created,” Sulík wrote, launching a wave of speculation about the future strength and stability of the eurozone.
In reaction, Prime Minister Iveta Radičová stated that such speculation weakens the EU’s stabilisation mechanism and is quite risky, the SITA newswire wrote. Radičová discounted the idea that her cabinet would consider a plan B to return to the Slovak crown.
“The government has not thought about [instituting] a new crown for even a second,” she said, as quoted by SITA. “I find such ideas very dangerous.”
The prime minister additionally noted that even though Slovakia has been in the eurozone for only a short time the common currency has brought more positive things to Slovakia than negative ones, though she conceded that the eurozone is facing some difficult issues.
“The eurozone is facing new challenges such as respecting the Stability and Growth Pact, as well as its enforceability,” Radičová said.
Finance Minister Ivan Mikloš said returning to the Slovak crown was theoretically possible – but he discounted the possibility.
"It is theoretically possible. We have already switched from the Czechoslovak crown to the Slovak crown. But neither the costs nor the impacts would be negligible or easy,” Mikloš said, as quoted by SITA.
20. Dec 2010 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff