PRAGUE, June 14 (Reuters) - The Czech Republic is unlikely to adopt the European Union’s common currency, the euro, in the next decade because it lacks the political will to make the change, central bank Governor Jiri Rusnok was quoted as saying on Wednesday.
The Czechs joined the EU in 2004 and committed to one day giving up its own currency, the crown, for the euro. But successive governments have put off setting a date for the change.
Asked at a conference on Wednesday if the country would join the euro zone in the next five to 10 years, Rusnok said, “If I had to ... bet, I would say no.”
“Generally, I do not see enough power and enough will,” he added in comments reported by Czech news agency CTK.
It is up to the government to decide on adopting the euro, with the central bank mainly advising.
The euro has gained little support among Czech politicians, expecially since the global financial crisis almost a decade ago. The euro zone has struggled to cope with problems like Greece’s debt, and economists say one reason is the rigidity of a single monetary policy imposed by the European Central Bank.
Former Finance Minister Andrej Babis has said joining the euro would “bring nothing good”. His ANO political movement leads polls by a wide margin before an October parliamentary election, making him a frontrunner to lead the next government .
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, whose Social Democrats have slipped in polls, told a Reuters Summit in May the next government should lead talks with unions and employers over conditions for euro adoption and set an entry date, though that would be beyond the next parliamentary term, which ens in 2021.
Reporting by Jason Hovet, editing by Larry King