Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Slovakia set to join the euro

Slovakia is set to swap its currency - the koruna - for the euro on 1 January 2009. The European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee backed Slovakia's bid to adopt the euro with the agreement that Slovakia makes further efforts to keep its inflation rate down and continues with structural reforms to its labour, services and products market. The parliament will vote as a whole on Slovakia's euro membership at its plenary session in Strasbourg next month before it then goes to EU leaders who will discuss it at their meeting in the European Council in Brussels on 19-20 June. Pending final approval by EU Finance Ministers in July Slovakia will become the 16th country to join the euro, following Slovenia, Cyprus and Malta.

The Danish Prime Minister has also indicated recently that he intends to hold a referendum on Denmark's current opt-out from the euro in the autumn with latest opinion polls showing last month that 52% of Danes wanted to join the eurozone.

Working as I do between Brussels and Edinburgh I use the euro all the time and hope to see an Independent Scotland join the euro.

It has been 10 years since the euro was first introduced for business (1998) and then later for consumers in 2002 but despite the doomsayers it has shown to be a success and that it works. Indeed the IMF earlier this week commented that "eurozone growth has been unexpectedly resilient" despite slowing global economy and raised its estimate for growth in the eurozone this year from 1.4% to 1.75%.

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