Emerging Europe: Mirow stresses the positives of the eurozone
The president of the EBRD tells Sudip Roy why adopting the euro is still the best option for central and eastern Europe’s EU members.
THOMAS MIROW IS unequivocal about it being in the best interests of the leading central and eastern European countries that are members of the EU to join the eurozone. “Definitely, yes,” says the president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. On January 1 Estonia became the newest member of the troubled currency bloc, following Slovakia and Slovenia as part of the first wave of former Communist countries to adopt the single currency. “For a small economy like Estonia with very strong trade relationships with Finland, this is the right thing to do,” says Mirow. “On top of this it’s also a very good sign that even though the euro area is struggling it is still attracting new members and is willing to take up new members, even though I presume there will be a pause before there is further enlargement.”
This is particularly pertinent to the big three central European economies of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland and their intentions. Each has delayed entry into the euro club and none has a definite target date. Not surprisingly, public opinion is not enthusiastic about joining.