Czech National Bank and president back euro opt out: report

The Czech National Bank as well as President Václav Klaus have called for the government to seek an opt out from adopting the single European currency, the euro, according to Saturday’s edition of the daily Lidové noviny. It said the bank was working on a report spelling out how an opt out could be obtained. The paper says the bank and president feel the time to make the demand is ripe now that Germany wants to reopen the Lisbon treaty and insert a permanent safety mechanism for eurozone countries. Prime Minister Petr Nečas on Friday reacted to news the president favoured an opt-out (similar to Denmark’s or Great Britain’s) by making clear such a move was highly unlikely.

As well as much tighter rules on budget deficits, the mechanism should include a larger fund to help save countries which hit problems. Whether countries, such as the Czech Republic, which are not members of the eurozone but are obliged to join when they meet the qualification conditions, should also contribute to the fund in not clear. Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek has said he does not think the Czech Republic should contribute directly as long as it is outside the zone.

Author: Chris Johnstone