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Top Banker Says Hungary May Adopt the Euro Sooner Than Expected

Startbeitrag von Moderator. am 05.10.2017 07:25

Top Banker Says Hungary May Adopt the Euro Sooner Than Expected

Hungary to adopt euro despite official rhetoric, OTP head says

Euro-area budget won’t mean need to give up full sovereignty

Hungary may adopt the euro sooner than its government is willing to admit, as Europe’s renewed integration drive will pull even countries reluctant to join into the common currency, the nation’s top banker said.

Leaders in Hungary, Poland, Romania and the Czech Republic -- the four biggest economies in the European Union’s eastern wing -- have refused to set target dates for adoption despite largely meeting accession criteria and being obliged to swap their currencies. While countries like Hungary won’t rush it, they also won’t want to be left out from deeper integration, said Sandor Csanyi, Hungary’s richest man and Chief Executive Officer of its largest lender OTP Bank.

“At the end of the day, Hungary will join the euro zone and we’ll go together,” with those pushing for deeper integration, Csanyi said in an interview last week in Budapest. “But I’m sure we’ll enter at the latest stage possible.”

That may not be far off. After holding the euro area together during Europe’s debt crises, closing ranks following Britain’s decision to leave the EU and keeping populists at bay in elections including in France and Germany, European officials started a debate over closer cooperation last week. French President Emmanuel Macron has said the discussions should include a common budget and single finance minister for the euro area.

That’s nudged some eastern EU members into action. Croatia, which joined four years ago, is aiming to enter the exchange-rate mechanism that’s a precursor to adoption by 2020 and officially join the euro a “couple of years later,” Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said last week. Bulgaria is also pushing for entry. Five of the EU’s 11 ex-communist members -- Slovenia, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania -- have entered the currency area.

Other countries aren’t so eager for.............

[www.bloomberg.com]

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