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Finance Minister Miklos reiterates government’s goal to adopt euro as soon as possible

Finance Minister Ivan Miklos reiterated the government’s intention to join the eurozone as soon as possible and the entry should be seen as one of its strategic goals.

Speaking before an economic forum in Bratislava, Miklos, accompanied by the central bank governor Marian Jusko, said he was convinced that the advantages of introducing the common European currency would outweigh the drawbacks that the change would bring. Though he admitted that Slovakia would find the fiscal criteria the most difficult, curbing the fiscal deficit to 3% of GDP is seen as inevitable for stabilising the economy and stimulating its healthy growth.

Responding to worries about possible price shocks after adopting the euro, Miklos downplayed the importance of different price levels, suggesting that the difference should significantly boost Slovakia’s attractiveness for foreign investors. Theoretically, the euro could be adopted as soonas in 2008 and the cabinet will design its economic policy to do so by 2009 at latest, Miklos added.

One of the strongest arguments made by the Finance Ministry and the central bank for joining the EMU at the earliest possible date is what they see as the extraordinary openness of the Slovak economy and the significant orientation of Slovak exports towards EU markets, to which 60% of the country’s exports currently go.

(IntelliNews 14.vii.03)

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