EUROPEAN MONETARY UNION AND RISKS FOR REAL CONVERGENCE
New members of the EU will not form an optimum currency area with the present eurozone member states. The article discusses some costs and benefits of an early EMU entry for the Czech Republic (and other Central-European economies). The authors concentrate on the consequences of loss of country-specific monetary policy, and of exchange-rate flexibility. They also stress the problem of finding the appropriate level at which to fix the exchange rate for both ERM-II and eurozone entry. The importance of both nominal and real convergence is underlined for a successful catch-up. The conclusion is that a "no hurry" policy for euro would be beneficial for a long-term catch-up process of the Czech Republic. Use of country-specific monetary policy is indispensable for real convergence.
optimum currency area, Maastricht criteria, fiscal consolidation, convergence nominal and real, adoption of euro
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