Interesting to note, following our discussion of the state of play of the Hungarian economy, that Hungary’s finance minister is not a euro pessimist. Janos Veres said in an interview with the Financial Times that he did not foresee a wider crisis for the single currency and that Hungary had ‘no option’ but to continue aiming to join the eurozone in 2010:
“I do not think Hungary has any other playing field,” said Mr Veres. “The Hungarian forint is not the Swiss franc. It cannot be maintained independently for decades.”
But Mr Veres, whose left-liberal government faces elections next spring, rejected calls for deep spending cuts that many economists view as necessary to keep Hungary on track for joining the single currency.
Instead, he outlined a plan for moderate spending cuts and the introduction of a simplified tax system designed to increase revenues next year. “We will not do anything that represents a radical, structural change,” he said.
Obviously the attraction is those nice low interest rates, to help pay for all that extra debt. But seriously, with the economically healthier Czech Republic now questioning whether it will join the euro, isn’t there a danger of the eurozone becoming a club for those structurally incapable of walking alone. “Oh when you walk, through the storm, hold your head up high,……….”