Prague, Nov 12 (CTK) – Candidates for the post of Czech president differ on whether the country should adopt the euro in the years to come, but most of them want, if elected, to initiate a broad public discussion on the issue, they have told CTK.

Out of the nine contenders whose bids, submitted to the Interior Ministry, seem to meet all requirements and have a chance for official registration, only two voiced resolute opposition to the adoption of the euro.

They are Jiri Hynek, head of the Czech Defence and Security Industry Association, and Petr Hannig, musician and head of The Reasonable party.

Hynek said he considers the euro project dead, while Hannig called it good for the richest businesspeople only.

Other presidential candidates showed a reserved position on the issue.

Entrepreneur and lyricist Michal Horacek and former ambassador to France Pavel Fischer both said the step is up to the government to decide on. They said they would like to launch a dialogue on the issue.

Horacek promised to stage a joint conference with representatives of Slovakia, the neighbouring country which formed a joint state, Czechoslovakia, in 1918-1992, and which introduced the euro as of 2009.

Fischer said he understands it that the introduction of a new currency might arouse people’s apprehensions.

Former Skoda Auto chief Vratislav Kulhanek, another presidential contender, said it is the government who is responsible for the decision. He said he is not resolutely opposed to the euro.

Former Science Academy head Jiri Drahos and doctor Marek Hilser indicated in their answers that they incline to supporting Prague’s euro zone entry.

Drahos said he wants to initiate a discussion in this respect. In his opinion, arguments in favour of the euro prevail, but he would not push for its adoption against the will of a majority, he said.

Hilser said he would not oppose the introduction of the euro if the Czech crown remained “a vulnerable currency in the euro sea” and if the country faced economic problems due to its failure to switch to the euro.

The incumbent President Milos Zeman, who seeks re-election in the January presidential race, and former Civic Democrat (ODS) PM Mirek Topolanek have not answered CTK’s question, citing their too busy schedules.

Zeman previously repeated that the Czech Republic should enter the euro zone only after Greece’s departure from it, so that the Czechs do not have to cover Greek debts.

At the same time, however, Zeman pointed out the example of Slovakia, where, too, people voiced fears before the adoption of the euro, but most of them are satisfied with it now.