At the beginning of January 2024, President Petr Pavel tried to forcefully enter the stalemate regarding the decision to adopt the euro in the Czech Republic. But so far also without any visible success. What about the fact that the adoption of the euro is one of the obligations of the domestic political representation of the European Union, which we agreed to even before we joined it 20 years ago? As it follows from publicly available information, the Czech Republic is not moving much on the issue of accepting the euro as its national currency. A lightning survey by the Median agency for Radiožurnál shows that two-thirds of the respondents think that the adoption of the euro will not be beneficial for them.
The argument is true that any country that wants to adopt the euro must meet set and clearly defined criteria. And the domestic economy is not fulfilling them now. However, according to the publicly available information, according to the report evaluating the preparedness of the Czech economy, which is put together every year by the Ministry of Finance and the Czech National Bank, the Czech Republic could meet three of the four so-called Maastricht criteria this year. “The adoption of the euro is not only a matter for economists, but also a political decision,” Olivia Lacenová, chief analyst at Wonderinterest Trading LTD, reminded EuroZpravy.cz.
As mentioned earlier, according to public opinion polls, only 18 percent of Czech citizens would be in favor of adopting the euro. According to the chief analyst of Wonderinterest Trading LTD, it goes without saying that this opinion is not so much based on economic argumentation. According to her, the problem may not only be a sense of pride (about the CZK), but also the fact that in the event of the country’s entry into the eurozone, this will mean further integration with the EU for the Czech Republic, and society is very polarized on this front these days. And not only here.
“Nevertheless, some politicians, such as President Petr Pavel and Minister of Labor Marian Jurečka, support the euro and it is a question whether they can sway society in favor of this currency. The campaign should announce factual, but above all true and professional arguments, why the adoption of the euro would be beneficial for Czech society in the long term,” said Olivia Lacenová for the EuroZpravy.cz server. And as she added, questions connected precisely with the adoption of the single European currency are often also an opportunity for populists, who can deliberately mislead the public in order to tip the scales in favor of rejecting the euro. And that it can work is proven, for example, by the campaign before the Brexit referendum in Great Britain. It is clear, given the still negative attitude of people in the Czech Republic, that supporters of the adoption of the euro will have to come up with new and sufficiently strong arguments in its favor.
When asked if there is a single most compelling argument for adopting the euro, Olivia Lacenová said the following: “The euro can strengthen the Czech Republic’s trade relations with the rest of the EU, which could be beneficial for the economy. Giving businesses the ability to maintain accounts, pay wages and taxes in euros can be beneficial for businesses in areas where European business activity is predominant.”
It is also true, as many other economists add, that as with everything, there are not only positives in this case, but also certain negatives. Maybe we shouldn’t always rely on nationalists and populists to tell us about paying off foreign debts and other arguments, but we should tell ourselves what we want. And not putting everything off for another thirty years.