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Senate says gov’t should outline plan for euro introduction

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Prague, July 20 (CTK) – The Czech government should outline a clear plan for the euro introduction in the country because euro zone membership is going to be the main division line between EU member states, the Czech Senate said within its debate on the EC’s plans for the EU future development.

At the same time, the senators expressed their opposition to creating a multi-speed EU. This should be an extreme solution only, they said.

Prague has not set any date for its euro zone entry as yet.

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) recently said the decision is up to the next cabinet to emerge from the October 20-21 general election.

According to former deputy PM Andrej Babis, whose ANO movement is expected to win the election, the country will not switch to the euro if he became prime minister.

Babis has labelled the euro, the common European currency, as a “collapsing” project.

In June, President Milos Zeman said the Czech Republic has been prepared for the euro zone entry for almost ten years, and he said the Czechs “irrationally fear” the step.

Similarly, Czech Central Bank Governor Jiri Rusnok said the country is prepared for and would cope with the transition to the euro.

Nevertheless, a huge gap persists between the Czech Republic and the euro zone in terms of prices and incomes, and the gap should be reduced before the adoption of the euro, Rusnok said.

Sobotka said in May that if Prague decided not to switch to the euro zone after the election, it may happen that the fast integration of the euro zone would oust the Czechs to the margin of the EU, to the slower lanes of multi-speed Europe.

The Senate stated today that “a differentiated integration leading to closer cooperation of selected member states only should be but an emergency step if honest efforts to achieve a solution acceptable for all member states failed.”

The Senate also recommended that the EU accept is strategic development decisions based on the member countries’ consensus.

It should focus on concrete realistic goals that enjoy a wide support from the member countries, the Senate said.

It said the EU should also prepare expert documents on solving possible further emergency situations such as another country’s departure from the EU or the euro zone.

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