>Czech public opinion: more Euro-sceptic than eurosceptic?
It is therefore interesting to see in the latest CVVM polling report just how solidly a bloc of public opinion has hardened against adoption of the Euro, narrowing the majority in favour from 29% in 2001 to 7% today – a result many of ‘don’t knows’ becoming ‘nos’. Another interpretation is that – as with membership of the EU itself – opposition tends to harden up as change becomes a more concerete prospect. Except that Euro adoption isn’t on the cards in the CR until around 2009-10, neither is not an issue exactly grabbing the headlines. Deficits in public financing make meeting the Maastricht criteria a challenging prospect and – as a rather interesting PhD thesis I examined last year argued – the party system tends to act as a brake.
The Civic Democrats have (in theory) ideological objections to Euro and official party policy is hold a referendum on Euro adoption, although whether this would merely be over timing or an acquis-busting attempt to opt out is unclear. Contradicting this, declarations by ODS politicians seem to reckon clearly with Euro membership – Topolánek suggested last year only his party’s zeal to reform public finances would mean joining sooner than expected. However, the party’s flat tax plans – now diluted by coalition partners and likely to be largely stymied due to lack of a real parliamentary majority – would have entailed hair-raising increases in the public deficit and an unceratin bet on a spurt of rapid economic growth rapidly righting things. The opposition Social Democrats are ideologically all in favour of the Euro, but rather less in favour of the reductions in public spending required to bring it about rapidly.