April 07, 2008
Danes changing views on euro, Slovakia will bid for it in 2009
The poll represents a shift in attitudes towards the euro compared to the last referendum in the country in 2000, when 53.2 percent of Danes rejected the Europe's common currency.
However, the percentage of Danes in favour of the euro was quite high ahead of the last referendum on the subject, even though it resulted in a majority opposed in the end.
It comes after the Danish prime minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, has hinted in recent days in several interviews with foreign media that his government might organise another referendum on the euro as soon as the second half of this year.
Denmark got permission for four exemptions from EU rules - on the euro, as well as on EU judicial and defence cooperation and European citizenship following a negative result in a referendum on the bloc's Maastricht Treaty in 1992.
Slovakia bids for euro in 2009
Meanwhile, Slovak finance minister Jan Pociatek on Saturday (5 April) formally filed his country's application to join the eurozone in January 2009.
Bratislava says it is confident that it will meet all the criteria for being allowed to adopt the euro, with the European Central Bank and the European Commission due to announce their verdict on 7 May.
Prior to that, the commission will on 28 April publishes economic forecasts containing key figures likely to be central to the appraisal of Slovakia's bid.
The biggest question marks concerning the Slovak candidacy surround the country's ability to keep a lid on consumer prices even after joining the eurozone, expressed in Brussels terminology as meeting the "inflation sustainability criterion".
Some EU officials are concerned that Slovakia, as the second post-communist country set to adopt the single currency will follow the example of Slovenia, which joined last year and saw a consequent rise of inflation to over five percent.
But Bratislava insists that possible inflation hikes in the country would only be caused by higher food and oil prices - the same phenomenon as currently experienced by all other EU member states, and not by the overheating of the Slovak economy. [source: EUObserver]
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