Tuesday, 14 December 2010

More Lessons from Slovakia

I find increasingly that I am beginning to share Open Europe's fascination with Slovakia.  The small eastern European country stood out alone this August in its determined refusal to be bullied into participating in the Greek bailout; berated by the EU Commission for this breach of "euro solidarity" Slovak Finance Minister Ivan Niklos declared that he did "not consider [the bailout] as solidarity if it is solidarity between poor and rich, of the responsible with the irresponsible, or of taxpayers with bank owners and managers”, earning praise from observant souverainistes.

Now Slovakia is standing out again, as Speaker for the Slovak legislature Richard Sulik thinks the unthinkable in a piece written for the economic daily Hospodarske Noviny.  His country made the sacrifices it did to join the euro in the first place only because "a stable currency and solid rules" were promised; two years on, with the euro's position more precarious than ever, Sulik is "sad to see that the rules are not the same for everyone, not to say that they do not exist at all."

The answer, he writes, is to do something the architechts of the single currency always said would be impossible:

"We need to stop trusting eurozone leaders blindly and draw up a plan B: going back to the Slovakian Koruna."

One hopes that where the Slovaks lead, others will follow.

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