Andrej Babis


Babis: No Rush To Join Eurozone

Andrej Babiš, European Union

Brno, May 26 (CTK) – Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) does not consider Czech accession to the euro zone a priority and he is satisfied with the Czech crown, he said today in a discussion meeting on the first day of the Re:publika festival in Brno, which marks the centenary of the birth of Czechoslovakia.


Babis, a businessman who transferred his giant Agrofert Holding to trust funds last year to avoid conflict of interest in his then capacity as finance minister, said he considers the interventions by the Czech National Bank (CNB) beneficial for the country’s economy.


Babis said in the case of Greece and Italy, the joint European currency, the euro, was an experiment.


As Slovak PM Peter Pellegrini also attended the debate, Babis said he will keep his fingers crossed for Slovakia, which has the euro, not to have to cover the Greek and Italian debts.


“I attended an euro summit, the course of which was as follows: the North asks the South introduce reforms, be responsible, reduce your debts and then we will share the risk. The South says: No, share the risk with us and only afterwards we will introduce reforms,” Babis said.


He asked what would become of Czech exports and the sectors threatened with imports if the euro were introduced.


Speaking of Czech banks, he said they are the healthiest in Europe and send marvelous dividends to their mother banks abroad.


The Czech Republic pledged to adopt the euro on its EU entry in 2004, but no date in this respect has been set yet.


Pellegrini reiterated that Slovakia has fared well as part of the euro zone since 2009, experiences a growth and its unemployment rate is the lowest since the establishment of the independent state in 1993.


Banks in Slovakia, too, are in a perfect condition and send good dividends to their mothers, Pellegrini said.


He and Babis also discussed Brexit. Babis said he can see no pros of Britain’s departure from the EU. Pellegrini said it should affect Britain negatively for other countries not to ponder following suit.