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Euro go-ahead

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  • Martin Votruba
    According to agency reports, Slovakia is getting green light to adopt the euro: The European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union, is set to
    Message 1 of 18 , Apr 30, 2008
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      According to agency reports, Slovakia is getting green light to adopt
      the euro:

      "The European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union,
      is set to confirm that Slovakia has met all conditions to become the
      16th country to adopt the euro, effective Jan. 1, 2009. The story
      cited a draft report by the Commission that is due to be released on
      May 7."

      "'In its convergence report, the commission concludes that amongst the
      assessed member states only Slovakia fulfills the conditions for the
      adoption of the euro,' the Commission draft report says."

      "The decision will then be rubber-stamped by the EU finance ministers."


      The adoption schedule will be:

      August 2008 -- pay only with crowns; show prices in crowns and euros
      Jan. 1, 2009 -- pay with euros or crowns; get back change in euros
      Jan. 17 -- pay only with euros; banks exchange crown bills and coins
      July 1 -- only the National Bank exchanges coins; banks exchange bills
      Dec. 31 -- end showing prices in euros and crowns
      Jan. 1, 2010 -- only the NB exchanges crown bills and coins
      Jan. 1, 2014 -- no exchange of coins, the NB exchanges bills for ever


      Martin

      votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu
    • ssultonia
      I don t know whether it is fact or perception but it seemed when other countries switched to the Euro, prices went through the roof. I can t help but believe
      Message 2 of 18 , May 2, 2008
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        I don't know whether it is fact or perception but it seemed when other countries switched
        to the Euro, prices went through the roof. I can't help but believe the perception at least
        will be the same in Slovakia. Having lived in Germany and vacationed in Italy and other
        "Euro" countries, it seemed to me that prices rose dramatically. Kinda glad I'm taking my
        vacation there this fall and not next year just the same.
        R/Bill

        --- In Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com, "Martin Votruba" <votrubam@...> wrote:
        >
        > According to agency reports, Slovakia is getting green light to adopt
        > the euro:
        >
        > "The European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union,
        > is set to confirm that Slovakia has met all conditions to become the
        > 16th country to adopt the euro, effective Jan. 1, 2009. The story
        > cited a draft report by the Commission that is due to be released on
        > May 7."
        >
        > "'In its convergence report, the commission concludes that amongst the
        > assessed member states only Slovakia fulfills the conditions for the
        > adoption of the euro,' the Commission draft report says."
        >
        > "The decision will then be rubber-stamped by the EU finance ministers."
        >
        >
        > The adoption schedule will be:
        >
        > August 2008 -- pay only with crowns; show prices in crowns and euros
        > Jan. 1, 2009 -- pay with euros or crowns; get back change in euros
        > Jan. 17 -- pay only with euros; banks exchange crown bills and coins
        > July 1 -- only the National Bank exchanges coins; banks exchange bills
        > Dec. 31 -- end showing prices in euros and crowns
        > Jan. 1, 2010 -- only the NB exchanges crown bills and coins
        > Jan. 1, 2014 -- no exchange of coins, the NB exchanges bills for ever
        >
        >
        > Martin
        >
        > votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu
        >
      • Martin Votruba
        ... Perception. Data have shown consistently that inflation attributable to euro rounding was 0.2%-0.3% in all of the countries that adopted the euro in the
        Message 3 of 18 , May 2, 2008
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          > whether it is fact or perception but it seemed when other
          > countries switched to the Euro, prices went through the roof.

          Perception. Data have shown consistently that inflation attributable
          to "euro rounding" was 0.2%-0.3% in all of the countries that adopted
          the euro in the past. Sven has described recently how the perceptions
          in Germany differ from that:

          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Slovak-World/message/20614

          > I can't help but believe the perception at least
          > will be the same in Slovakia.

          I'm sure it will. Opinion polls have shown that people in the euro
          countries ascribed all the subsequent inflation (that would have
          occurred anyway) to the adoption of the euro, and exaggerated the
          total inflation to boot.

          Moreover, earlier opinion polls have shown the Slovaks have enormously
          exaggerated negative perceptions of inflation and of what they see as
          results of government policies, so the euro will most likely open the
          floodgates for adverse overstatement and whining next year.

          In a poll four years ago, for instance, the Slovaks estimated that the
          previous year's inflation was a staggering 18% while the actual
          inflation was 3.3% and average salaries grew by 6.3%.

          There have been other polls that have shown a similar inclination
          towards pessimistic overstatements concerning issues that can be
          perceived as results of government policies. One comparative poll in
          the Czech R., Poland, Slovakia, and Ukraine showed that the most
          negative about such issues and farthest off the mark were the Slovaks.


          Martin

          votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu
        • Ron Matviyak
          That perception of loss of purchasing power with the Euro is might strong, Martin. I have friends in Germany in a wide variety of professions, from
          Message 4 of 18 , May 2, 2008
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            That perception of loss of purchasing power with the Euro is might
            strong, Martin. I have friends in Germany in a wide variety of
            professions, from engineering to secretarial, machinists, tradesmen,
            and grown students beginning their careers.

            Without exception they all have the same perception that Sven
            expresses in the posting you referenced. I have been back there once
            or twice a year since I left in 1997, and I cannot say I have seen
            anything to contradict their perception that costs have gone up
            substantially while wages remained relatively flat. They seem to have
            adapted a more modest life style without the luxuries they so readily
            enjoyed before (I am talking about both working class people and
            professional people), and it is common to hear them speak of weighing
            the costs and delaying purchases and vacations where they did not
            hesitate to spend money before.

            From my American perspective, it seems they went from a relatively
            care free life to worrying much more as we Americans always have;
            until this real estate crisis hit America, I would have said the
            Germans perhaps became even more worried about living and work
            security and expenses than we Americans. However, with the housing
            problems and recession, I hesitate to guess where any of us stand any
            more.

            I certainly hope the change to Euro in Slovakia is much, much better
            than the change as I witnessed it in Germany.

            Ron


            --- In Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com, "Martin Votruba" <votrubam@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > > whether it is fact or perception but it seemed when other
            > > countries switched to the Euro, prices went through the roof.
            >
            > Perception. Data have shown consistently that inflation
            attributable> to "euro rounding" was 0.2%-0.3% in all of the countries
            that adopted> the euro in the past. Sven has described recently how
            the perceptions> in Germany differ from that:
            >
            > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Slovak-World/message/20614
            >
            > > I can't help but believe the perception at least
            > > will be the same in Slovakia.
            >
            > I'm sure it will. Opinion polls have shown that people in the euro
            > countries ascribed all the subsequent inflation (that would have
            > occurred anyway) to the adoption of the euro, and exaggerated the
            > total inflation to boot.
            >
            > Moreover, earlier opinion polls have shown the Slovaks have
            enormously> exaggerated negative perceptions of inflation and of what
            they see as> results of government policies, so the euro will most
            likely open the> floodgates for adverse overstatement and whining next
            year.
            >
            > In a poll four years ago, for instance, the Slovaks estimated that
            the> previous year's inflation was a staggering 18% while the actual
            > inflation was 3.3% and average salaries grew by 6.3%.
            >
            > There have been other polls that have shown a similar inclination
            > towards pessimistic overstatements concerning issues that can be
            > perceived as results of government policies. One comparative poll
            in> the Czech R., Poland, Slovakia, and Ukraine showed that the most
            > negative about such issues and farthest off the mark were the Slovaks.
            >
            >
            > Martin
            >
            > votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu
            >
          • Paul Guzowski
            Martin, Ron, et al.... There s an old saying that Perceptions can be reality but in the case of the change to the Euro, perceptions are just perceptions.
            Message 5 of 18 , May 3, 2008
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              Martin, Ron, et al....

              There's an old saying that "Perceptions can be reality" but in the case of
              the change to the Euro, perceptions are just perceptions. When I was
              recently working in Central and Eastern Europe for six years, my boss used
              to say, "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion but no one is entitled to
              his own facts." Thank you, Martin, for providing the facts regarding what
              really happened to prices in other countries when the Euro was introduced. I
              personally observed the same kind of perception-driven predictions of doom
              when Britain changed to decimal currency in the late 60s but it never really
              happened.

              One of the things that will likely happen is some price leveling for goods
              and services across borders with other Euro-zone countries. That was
              predicted elsewhere and did occur, or so I remember reading. From my
              observation watching the introduction of the Euro in many other countries
              while I lived and worked in Europe, I found it very interesting that people
              were very quick to complain about prices that went up but I never heard one
              complaint concerning prices that went down.

              Paul in NW Florida


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Martin Votruba
              ... Thanks for the reminder, Paul. ... Rightly so, I d say, Ron, when they were talking about their purchasing power. Statistics have shown it s been dropping
              Message 6 of 18 , May 3, 2008
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                > the same kind of perception-driven predictions of doom
                > when Britain changed to decimal currency in the late 60s

                Thanks for the reminder, Paul.

                > Without exception they all have the same perception that Sven
                > expresses in the posting you referenced.

                Rightly so, I'd say, Ron, when they were talking about their
                purchasing power. Statistics have shown it's been dropping in Germany
                for several years now. The problem is the perception that it is a
                result of the switch to the euro. It is a result of a variety of
                factors, including, e.g., the changes in the value added tax, and, of
                course, government policies. By comparison, Ireland is at the other
                end of the scale of the developments in the eurozone after its
                introduction -- rapid riches. Both the German decline and Irish rise
                happened regardless of the euro.

                In other words, if "B" follows "A," people often assume that "B" is a
                result of "A." Yet, with the same government policies, the changes in
                VAT, and economic developments, people's purchasing power would have
                probably followed the same trajectory in Germany had it kept the D-Mark.

                I don't assume that the euro must be automatically beneficial
                (especially in the situation when the monetary policy is adjusted
                according to the needs of the biggies like France and Germany rather
                than the post-com "specks"), but to be able to blame the real drop in
                the standard of living in Germany on the euro, or praise the euro for
                the rise in Ireland, we'd have to show that the euro resulted in a
                similar trajectory in all or most of the eurozone, and that it was not
                caused by other factors. I'm not aware of evidence that the euro was
                a key factor in either Germany or Ireland.


                Martin

                votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu
              • Nick Holcz
                Yes, perceptions are perception and the perception when Australia changed to decimal currency A$ ( way back in 1966, my God I am getting old) that prices went
                Message 7 of 18 , May 3, 2008
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                  Yes, perceptions are perception and the perception when Australia
                  changed to decimal currency A$ ( way back in 1966, my God I am
                  getting old) that prices went up and also when we changed our weights
                  and measures system to decimal that the same thing happened.

                  Nick
                • Martin Votruba
                  ... Thanks for the examples, Nick. People are capable of projecting such perceptions on other creatures, too. After Switzerland first adopted daylight saving
                  Message 8 of 18 , May 3, 2008
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                    > that prices went up and also when we changed our weights
                    > and measures system to decimal that the same thing happened.

                    Thanks for the examples, Nick. People are capable of projecting such
                    perceptions on other creatures, too. After Switzerland first adopted
                    daylight saving time in 1981, farmers swore that milk yield was
                    dropping. The cows must have all rushed to the village square to
                    check the church clock, and the Alpine grass never tasted the same.


                    Martin

                    votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu
                  • Ron Matviyak
                    Ahh, shaded of change. I remember a bit of hte same complaining when the US changed booze sales from fifths (English units) to metric (750ml). I was on Skype
                    Message 9 of 18 , May 3, 2008
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                      Ahh, shaded of change. I remember a bit of hte same complaining when
                      the US changed booze sales from fifths (English units) to metric (750ml).

                      I was on Skype with Germany last night and the senior salesman friend
                      replied "Kaufkraft ist nicht bei Gehalt angekommen , immer mehr Leute
                      haben Schulden und wenig Geld" Purchasing power hasn't kept up with
                      inflation, and more people are in debt and have less money.

                      To back up the argument for statistics and perception, the NY Times
                      recently published

                      http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/01/business/worldbusiness/01middle.html

                      Ron

                      --- In Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com, "Martin Votruba" <votrubam@...>
                      wrote:
                      >
                      > > that prices went up and also when we changed our weights
                      > > and measures system to decimal that the same thing happened.
                      >
                      > Thanks for the examples, Nick. People are capable of projecting such
                      > perceptions on other creatures, too. After Switzerland first adopted
                      > daylight saving time in 1981, farmers swore that milk yield was
                      > dropping. The cows must have all rushed to the village square to
                      > check the church clock, and the Alpine grass never tasted the same.
                      >
                      >
                      > Martin
                      >
                      > votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu
                      >
                    • skeeter
                      For what it s worth, though somewhat unrelated, there was a push on here in the USA 30-some years ago to switch from the English measurement system to the
                      Message 10 of 18 , May 3, 2008
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                        For what it's worth, though somewhat unrelated, there was a push on here in the USA 30-some years ago to switch from the English measurement system to the Metric system. That never quite caught on. What did I get out of it? I had to buy two sets of tools. One metric for my Japanese motorcycles and German car, and one English for most everything else. I ws already savvy with the metric system (almost everything in the sciences was already measured in milliliters, centimeters, and the like). Now, if you don't know one from the other, you're out of luck.

                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: Nick Holcz
                        To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Saturday, May 03, 2008 10:15 AM
                        Subject: Re: [Slovak-World] Re: Euro go-ahead


                        Yes, perceptions are perception and the perception when Australia
                        changed to decimal currency A$ ( way back in 1966, my God I am
                        getting old) that prices went up and also when we changed our weights
                        and measures system to decimal that the same thing happened.

                        Nick




                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Martin Votruba
                        ... Thanks, Ron. It was refreshing to see no blame on the euro for that. Since the collapse of communism, not only that part of the continent, but also
                        Message 11 of 18 , May 3, 2008
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                          > To back up the argument for statistics and perception

                          Thanks, Ron. It was refreshing to see no blame on the euro for that.
                          Since the collapse of communism, not only that part of the continent,
                          but also Western Europe has been slowly moving towards the large gap
                          between the top incomes and the middle- and lower-middle-class incomes
                          that has been typical of the US. The American laborers' average
                          purchasing power has been mostly oscillating rather than rising for
                          about three decades now.

                          The gap is already quite large in Slovakia -- fewer than 30% of the
                          population, a large segment of them in Bratislava, have salaries above
                          the country's average, 70% earn less than average salaries. A
                          specific post-com situation that fosters social discontent is that,
                          broken down by age groups, the highest average salaries are earned by
                          the 30-34-year-old Slovaks. By comparison, the people in their 50s,
                          whose incomes are the highest in most societies, which gives many of
                          them a sense of accomplishment and deserved status, are making about
                          10% less in Slovakia.

                          At the same time, while the gap between the middle-class and the top
                          earners has been opening faster in the post-com countries than in the
                          older European democracies, the purchasing power of all the employed
                          has been growing in Slovakia, and substantially so. A recent article
                          has worked out that the Slovaks were able to buy about 6.2% more with
                          their salaries by the end of 2007 than when the year began, an
                          exceptional year, but part of a trend. Of course, that's not what the
                          doom-and-gloom Slovaks say in opinion polls.


                          Martin

                          votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu
                        • Martin Votruba
                          ... As to Slovakia, here are a few price-to-salary comparisons -- how much a given item cost a Slovak with the average income in 2007 by comparison to the same
                          Message 12 of 18 , May 3, 2008
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                            > To back up the argument for statistics and perception

                            As to Slovakia, here are a few price-to-salary comparisons -- how much
                            a given item cost a Slovak with the average income in 2007 by
                            comparison to the same in 2002 (a minus means a drop):

                            bread, butter: the same percentage of income as in 2002
                            pork (a popular cut): -42%
                            chicken: -31%
                            beer: -23%
                            TV: -65%
                            small Skoda car: -33%
                            bank account charges: +39%

                            The Slovaks' rising incomes have substantially outpaced the rising
                            prices of the listed items. On the other hand, an opinion poll among
                            the gainsaying Slovaks might suggest that everything is 2-3 times more
                            expensive now and that they are reduced to borrowing money to take the
                            bus to work.


                            Martin

                            votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu
                          • skeeter
                            The American laborers average purchasing power has been mostly oscillating rather than rising for about three decades now. I was watching the news last
                            Message 13 of 18 , May 4, 2008
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                              "The American laborers' average
                              purchasing power has been mostly oscillating rather than rising for
                              about three decades now."

                              I was watching the news last night (I don't remember which network) and they said the average American CEO's salary has gone from 40-times the laborer's salary in 1980 to 433-times the laborer's salary today. The rich get richer, and the little guy gets screwed. That might explain some of it.



                              ----- Original Message -----
                              From: Martin Votruba
                              To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
                              Sent: Saturday, May 03, 2008 4:46 PM
                              Subject: [Slovak-World] Re: Euro go-ahead


                              > To back up the argument for statistics and perception

                              Thanks, Ron. It was refreshing to see no blame on the euro for that.
                              Since the collapse of communism, not only that part of the continent,
                              but also Western Europe has been slowly moving towards the large gap
                              between the top incomes and the middle- and lower-middle-class incomes
                              that has been typical of the US. The American laborers' average
                              purchasing power has been mostly oscillating rather than rising for
                              about three decades now.

                              The gap is already quite large in Slovakia -- fewer than 30% of the
                              population, a large segment of them in Bratislava, have salaries above
                              the country's average, 70% earn less than average salaries. A
                              specific post-com situation that fosters social discontent is that,
                              broken down by age groups, the highest average salaries are earned by
                              the 30-34-year-old Slovaks. By comparison, the people in their 50s,
                              whose incomes are the highest in most societies, which gives many of
                              them a sense of accomplishment and deserved status, are making about
                              10% less in Slovakia.

                              At the same time, while the gap between the middle-class and the top
                              earners has been opening faster in the post-com countries than in the
                              older European democracies, the purchasing power of all the employed
                              has been growing in Slovakia, and substantially so. A recent article
                              has worked out that the Slovaks were able to buy about 6.2% more with
                              their salaries by the end of 2007 than when the year began, an
                              exceptional year, but part of a trend. Of course, that's not what the
                              doom-and-gloom Slovaks say in opinion polls.

                              Martin

                              votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu





                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • Martin Votruba
                              ... Yes, Skeeter, that s part of the difference between the European and American societies that I mentioned. That ratio has traditionally been 1:10 to 1:20
                              Message 14 of 18 , May 4, 2008
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                                > the average American CEO's salary has gone from 40-times
                                > the laborer's salary in 1980 to 433-times the laborer's
                                > salary today.

                                Yes, Skeeter, that's part of the difference between the European and
                                American societies that I mentioned. That ratio has traditionally
                                been 1:10 to 1:20 in the European democracies, but it has started
                                moving faster in the direction of the US since the collapse of communism.


                                Martin

                                votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu
                              • Martin Votruba
                                As expected the European Commission has recommended today that Slovakia adopt the euro on Jan. 1, 2009. A report is below. Martin votruba at pitt dot edu
                                Message 15 of 18 , May 7, 2008
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                                  As expected the European Commission has recommended today that
                                  Slovakia adopt the euro on Jan. 1, 2009. A report is below.


                                  Martin

                                  votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu

                                  x x x



                                  EU: No Country But Slovakia Meets Euro Adoption Criteria

                                  DOW JONES NEWSWIRES, 5/7/2008 -- No other country but Slovakia meets
                                  the criteria for euro adoption, the European Commission said Wednesday
                                  in its latest convergence report, giving a green light to Slovakia's
                                  bid to join the euro zone.

                                  The commission, the E.U.'s executive arm, along with the European
                                  Central Bank, reports at least once every two years on the progress
                                  made by E.U. member states in fulfilling obligations to achieve
                                  economic and monetary union.

                                  Slovakia received recommendation from the European Union Wednesday to
                                  join the fifteen member state-strong euro-zone, and is lined-up to
                                  become the fourth country in two years to join the club after Slovenia
                                  did so on the first day of 2007. Cyprus and Malta entered at the
                                  beginning of this year.

                                  Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and the Baltic states of
                                  Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia joined the E.U. along with Slovakia in
                                  May 2004, while Romania and Bulgaria were the latest to join the
                                  twenty-seven member free-trade block in January 2007.
                                • J Michutka
                                  So how is the word euro declined in Slovak--like mesto? e.g. jedno euro, dva eura , sedem .... eur??? Or is it not declined, and just remains euro
                                  Message 16 of 18 , May 7, 2008
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                                    So how is the word "euro" declined in Slovak--like mesto? e.g.
                                    jedno euro, dva eura' , sedem .... eur??? Or is it not declined, and
                                    just remains "euro" regardless of number? And what do they call the
                                    "cents" in Slovak?

                                    I really miss having different and interesting monies from country to
                                    country, but on the other hand, it will be so much easier....no
                                    looking for a place to get the local currency every time I cross a
                                    border, or having to plan ahead and carry multiple currencies.

                                    Julie Michutka
                                    jmm@...


                                    On May 7, 2008, at 9:20 AM, Martin Votruba wrote:

                                    > As expected the European Commission has recommended today that
                                    > Slovakia adopt the euro on Jan. 1, 2009. A report is below.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Martin
                                    >
                                  • skeeter
                                    It s not just in Europe. I ve traveled to Canada (Canadian dollars) and Mexico (Pesos), and had a hassle converting them back into US dollars when I got home.
                                    Message 17 of 18 , May 7, 2008
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                                      It's not just in Europe. I've traveled to Canada (Canadian dollars) and Mexico (Pesos), and had a hassle converting them back into US dollars when I got home. I should have just kept them -- their currencies are much more attractive than ours.

                                      ----- Original Message -----
                                      From: J Michutka
                                      To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
                                      Sent: Wednesday, May 07, 2008 10:07 AM
                                      Subject: [Slovak-World] declining the euro


                                      So how is the word "euro" declined in Slovak--like mesto? e.g.
                                      jedno euro, dva eura' , sedem .... eur??? Or is it not declined, and
                                      just remains "euro" regardless of number? And what do they call the
                                      "cents" in Slovak?

                                      I really miss having different and interesting monies from country to
                                      country, but on the other hand, it will be so much easier....no
                                      looking for a place to get the local currency every time I cross a
                                      border, or having to plan ahead and carry multiple currencies.

                                      Julie Michutka
                                      jmm@...

                                      On May 7, 2008, at 9:20 AM, Martin Votruba wrote:

                                      > As expected the European Commission has recommended today that
                                      > Slovakia adopt the euro on Jan. 1, 2009. A report is below.
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Martin
                                      >




                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    • Martin Votruba
                                      ... Yes, Julie (_dve_). ... _Cent_ [tsent] (masc., hard pattern: 2 centy, 5 centov). ... Since Slovakia is surrounded by countries that aren t meeting the
                                      Message 18 of 18 , May 7, 2008
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                                        > how is the word "euro" declined in Slovak--like mesto? e.g.
                                        > jedno euro, dva eura' , sedem .... eur???

                                        Yes, Julie (_dve_).

                                        > And what do they call the "cents" in Slovak?

                                        _Cent_ [tsent] (masc., hard pattern: 2 centy, 5 centov).


                                        > no looking for a place to get the local currency every time
                                        > I cross a border, or having to plan ahead and carry multiple

                                        Since Slovakia is surrounded by countries that aren't meeting the
                                        criteria, this will not be different any time soon for the Slovaks who
                                        mostly travel to Poland, Hungary, and the Czech R. When they joined
                                        the European Union in 2004, all three were saying they would adopt the
                                        euro by 2009-2010, but have failed. The current very tentative
                                        estimates are that they might meet the criteria to adopt the euro by:

                                        Poland - 2012
                                        Czech R. - 2012
                                        Hungary - 2014

                                        Only the Slovaks' second major summer destination, Greece, has the
                                        euro, and Austria and the countries west of it (except Switzerland).


                                        Martin

                                        votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu
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