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Respekt: Referendum on euro adoption is very bad idea

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Prague, June 9 (CTK) – A national referendum on the adoption of the euro is sheer populism, it challenges the Czech commitments to the allies and it may complicate the euro adoption that would be advisable for security reasons, Marek Svehla writes in the latest issue of weekly Respekt.
The Civic Democratic Party (ODS) has been calling for the euro referendum for a long time. The party’s indifference to the development of the Western allied commitments is well known and one need not be concerned by it very much as the ODS now plays a marginal role on the domestic political scene, Svehla writes.
But Finance Minister Andrej Babis (ANO), who started toying with the idea of a referendum on the euro, may win the next general election, Svehla writes.
This seems to be the worst idea that Babis has recently had, he writes.
Babis’s idea of a non-binding referendum does not bring any advantage and it may seriously harm the Czech Republic, Svehla writes.
In 2003, the Czech Republic approved its membership of the European Union, along with the EU rules, including the pledge to adopt the euro as its currency.
It is up to Prague when it decides to adopt the euro. Czech diplomats are skilful enough to defend a long postponement, Svehla writes.
The right-wing government of Mirek Topolanek (in office 2006-2009) promised that the Czech Republic would adopt the euro at the same time as Slovakia, Svehla writes, referring to the fact that the Slovaks joined the euro zone in 2009.
Czech politicians should play an open game with the voters and talk about the date of euro adoption before elections so that voters can take their opinions on the euro into consideration, Svehla writes.
The euro adoption candidates can be divided in two groups: countries, for which the euro is an economic instrument, such as Denmark, and countries that have adopted the euro mainly for political and security reasons, such as Estonia and Latvia, Svehla writes.
The Czech Republic is not a direct neighbour of Russia, but the map clearly shows that it is within the zone that the Russian regime keeps considering its sphere of influence, Svehla writes.
He says this has been proved by the very strong staff at the Russian embassy in Prague, the activities of Russian spies, statements made by Russian politicians, and a documentary on the Warsaw Pact recently broadcast by the Russian state television.
The documentary advocated the Warsaw Pact’s invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968, claiming that NATO planned a military coup in Prague at the time and that the Soviet Union had to come and save Czechoslovakia.
Czech politicians condemned the documentary as one falsifying history and Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek summoned the Russian ambassador over the issue.
But why was the Russian state TV, which is controlled by the Kremlin, persuading its viewers that the occupation was a friendly assistance helping Czechoslovakia get rid of the evil from the West? Svehla writes.
It definitely was not be due to a lack of information, which was an explanation provided by President Milos Zeman. The documentary is a clear evidence of limited sensitivity for what is or is not an aggression against a sovereign state, Svehla writes.
If Moscow all of a sudden again pretends that the invasion and occupation was “a friendly assistance,” will the Russians want to “help” the Czechs again? This question should be the base of the discussion about euro adoption in the Czech Republic, same as it was in Estonia and Latvia, Svehla writes.
When security is concerned, referendums are out of question, he says.

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