Currency and Competitiveness in Europe
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Currency and Competitiveness in Europe

Edited by Klaus Liebscher, Josef Christl, Peter Mooslechner and Doris Ritzberger-Grünwald

This book combines currency matters with competitiveness considerations, with a view to raising the understanding of exchange rate dynamics and to analysing the role of exchange rates in reinforcing economic competitiveness.
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Chapter 20: Slovakia’s Road to the Euro – Lessons Learned and Challenges Ahead

Ivan Šramko


ˇ Ivan Sramko1 The idea of this chapter is to describe Slovakia’s road to the euro – principally, what basic assumptions it took to pave the way successfully for introducing the euro in our country, what kind of measures we have taken, how we are doing in terms of fulfilling the Maastricht criteria, and what are the main challenges connected with the euro adoption. Let me start with the basic conditions a country must fulfil to be successful in so complex a process like the adoption of the euro. There are two main conditions: first, to have consistent plans and in-depth analyses measuring the possibility of fulfilling the underlying criteria; and second, to have broad political support. Slovakia fulfilled both those conditions when it started with this process in 2003. At that time none of the political parties with significant political power were opposed to adopting the euro, and it was very important that this remained so also after the change of government in 2006. And we started very early with a very consistent plan, which is still effective. We started in 2003, at the time targeting euro area entry by 2008 or 2009. The main problem in 2003 was that Eurostat’s position on how to account for the pension reform costs in the budget was not clear yet. That is why, once Eurostat’s decision on the fiscal treatment of pension reform costs had become available, we issued a supplementary document specifying Slovakia’s euro adoption strategy...

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