>Czech Civic Democrats consider referendum on Euro

> The same source reports on ODS’s growing debates about following the ‘Swedish model’ of having a referendum on Euro adoption, despite having signed up to adopting the single currency as a part of joining the EU. The official line, repeated by both PM Topolánek and President Klaus, is that a decision on when to adopt will be taken when public finances have been sorted out and when Czech prices and productiveity converge with those in Western Europe, but some in ODS like MEP Hyněk Fajmon don’t mind saying ‘the later the better’ and, Fajmon who has just published a pamphlet with the CDK thinktank entitled ‘Crown verus Euro’ (in Czech, but free) naturally, wants a referendum. His arguments are a familiar set of anti-Euro positions regarding the unsuitability of a one-size-fits all model for a small European economy, differing in crucial ways from those of Western Europe. The latest Eurobarometer (April 2007) suggests the Czechs are among the more lukewarm EU public towards the Euro, but a small majority (47% – 41% is in favour). However, the likelihood of one is slim as it would require the legilsative co-operation of the opposition Social Democrats who slyly say they will agree if there is also a referendum on the proposed US radar bases (which the Czech public opposes by a margin of about 2:1).

Meanwhile, Christian Democrat Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek says the target date in 2012. However, the Czech National Bank’s analysis suggests that the Czech economic cycle is, for ODS, conveniently out of synch with that of Western Europe. Bank analysts cited by aktualne.cz are sceptical of ODS anti-Euro arguments, arguing that the Czech economy aint’t Sweden and that its vulnerabilty to currency fluctuation makes rapid Euro adoption something of a no brainer.

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