PRAGUE, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Czech President Milos Zeman said on Tuesday that he would “end today” the weak-crown policy the Czech National Bank has pursued since 2013 to spur inflation.
Zeman has no direct influence on the central bank. But he does appoint the bank’s policymakers and has picked three of its seven board members, including Governor Jiri Rusnok.
Nevertheless, the board continues to keep the crown’s value at 27 or more crowns to the euro. The board reiterated last week it expected to maintain the policy until mid-2017. President Zeman has two more board appointments to make by then.
“Jiri Rusnok says he will end it in September 2017, or 11 months from now, but the sooner the better, because it is nothing but a devaluation of the national currency and I don’t think it helps in the long term,” Zeman said. “In the short term, perhaps yes, but so do cigarettes for me.”
Industry Minister Jan Mladek was quoted earlier on Tuesday as saying that a swift change in policy would be a threat to many companies and that it was necessary to exit the policy without causing shocks to the economy. (Reporting by Robert Muller, editing by Larry King)