EU ‘wants United States of Europe’ says Tadeusz Kościński
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Croatia switched to the shared European currency, the euro, and removed dozens of border checkpoints to join the world’s largest passport-free travel area, on January 1st. It marked a fresh start for the small Balkan nation of 4 million people that captured international attention three decades ago as the site of a brutal war that left nearly a quarter of its economy in ruins.
Joining Europe’s ID-check-free Schengen zone means Croats will now be among almost 420 million people who are free to roam its 27 member countries without passports for work or leisure.
Those in favour, believe that adopting the euro will offer Croatia the benefits stemming from deeper financial ties with the currency’s 19 other users and with the European Central Bank.
It will also make travelling and doing business easier, removing the hassle of currency exchange for Croats going abroad and for tens of thousands of tourists who visit their country each year for work or to enjoy its stunning Adriatic coastline.
But according to Croatian MEP Ivan Sincic, his country is now doomed for financial ruin and can say its final goodbyes to having a decision-making role in its monetary policies.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, he said: “Most of Croatian people never wanted the euro but to keep our currency named kuna. All the polls showed that as well, except one poll made by the Croatian Central Bank.
“Even if we wanted the euro it is by far too early since Croatia is much poorer that the West. The incomes of the working people are 2-3 times smaller.
“Many things got more expensive over night. It is very chaotic. Many feel tricked, shocked and betrayed.
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“It was a completely wrong move imposed by Croatian political establishment. Our prime minister is nothing but a puppet of Brussels establishment and this is not just in the case of euro.
“But this is just short term effect. Euro has much bigger problems because you cannot put so many different economies in one monetary zone. Some will benefit at the expense of others.
“The euro may benefit Germany, France and Netherlands but it is not a benefit for Croatia. Our economy is different and we need different monetary policy than those countries to develop.
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“Croatia will not decide on this policy anymore but the governors in Frankfurt in European Central Bank who make the common monetary policy. When another crisis comes our position will be similar to that of Greece.”
Croatia joined the EU in 2013, but to adopt the euro the country had to fulfil a set of strict economic conditions, including having a stable exchange rate, controlled inflation and sound public spending.
The Croatian kuna and the euro will be in dual use for cash payments for only 14 days, but as people shop post-holiday in January they will receive only euros in change.
The New Year’s Eve developments were described by many Croats as proof their country has completed a difficult journey to the European mainstream 31 years after it fought a war for independence from Serb-dominated Yugoslavia in which 20,000 people were killed and hundreds of thousands displaced.
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