Friday, 02 January 2009

Slovakia Adopts the Euro

Written by  Charles Scaliger

EU flagOn January 1, 2009, Slovakia became the first former Soviet-bloc country to adopt the Euro as its national currency. Once the "-slovakia" in "Czechoslovakia," Slovakia, already a member of the European Union, became the 16th nation to join the "Eurozone" on New Year's Day. Its currency, the koruna, will be negotiable only until January 16, at which time the Euro will become the sole national currency.

Slovenia, once a part of Yugoslavia (not technically a Soviet-bloc country) is the only other former communist country so far to adopt the Euro. Other former Soviet-bloc and Eastern European countries now belonging to the EU, however, are eager to follow Slovenia and Slovakia's lead. First up are Estonia and Lithuania, which plan to make the jump in 2010. Latvia, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Bulgaria are slated to follow suite in 2012. Hungary plans to go Euro in 2013, and Romania the year after that. Of the 11 remaining EU member states not on the Euro, only the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Sweden have no plans to adopt the European currency.