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FinMin sees no Reason for Delay in Adoption of Euro

The Czech Finance Ministry sees no reason why the Czech Republic should not adopt the euro in 2010, as planned, despite a recent statement to the contrary by Czech National Bank (CNB) vice governor Ludek Niedermayer.

Niedermayer said the Czech Republic would not manage to join the euro zone by 2010 if it kept to the current pace fiscal deficit cutting. According to Niedermayer, the government’s plans to cut the deficit were not ambitious enough.

Finance Ministry spokesman Marek Zeman says Finance Minister Bohuslav Sobotka will ask CNB governor Zdenek Tuma to explain whether the doubts cast on euro adoption in 2010 represent the personal opinion of Ludek Niedermayer or the official position of the CNB.

The ministry says the Czech Republic continues to meet the conditions of the convergence program and already meets four of the five Maastricht criteria for euro adoption.

Countries joining the euro must show a fiscal deficit worth up to 3 % of GDP. The Czech government plans to cut the gap from this year’s 4.8 to 4.7 % in 2005, and to bring the shortfall to 3 % in 2008.

(Interfax 22.x.04)

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