Czechs don’t want to ditch crown for euro – poll

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Participants in a survey believe that adopting the single currency would risk price increases

A majority of Czechs are skeptical about transitioning to the euro, believing that adopting the single currency would carry inflationary risks and would not benefit the country, the media outlet iRozhlas reported this week, citing the latest poll.  

Some 68% of respondents consider shifting from the Czech crown to the single currency a disadvantage. A further 21% viewed adopting the euro positively, while 11% were ambivalent on the matter, the survey of over 1,000 respondents conducted last week by the Median agency for Czech Radio revealed. The commitment to eventually switching to the euro was a key condition for the Czech Republic to join the EU back in 2004. But after almost two decades, Prague is nowhere close.  

One of the authors of the survey, Ivan Cuker, attributed the public skepticism to concerns over possible price increases once the country adopts the euro.   

“Mainly students say that the euro is beneficial for them. Some 45% of them said so,” he noted.  

While some economists compared the Czech Republic’s membership in the EU without accepting the euro to being in the position of a “scantily clad princess,” others acknowledged inflationary risks and supported the idea of holding a referendum on the issue. Metropolitan University economist Dominik Stroukal described the Eurozone as a “non-optimal” currency union at the moment.  

“It makes no sense to get rid of monetary policy when the Czech one is working right now,” he said.  

The discussions come after Czech President Petr Pavel, in his New Year’s address to the nation, urged “concrete” steps to be taken for the country to adopt the single currency. Thus far, of the 27 members of the EU, seven have not adopted the euro.

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