Before flying to Prague, I went to my local bank to exchange currency. I had to explain several times that “Czech crowns”, or koruna in Czech, were the currency in Prague. The bank teller was much more familiar with euros and nearly gave me the wrong bills!

If you have ever travelled through Europe, you may wonder why the Czech Republic does not use the euro. If it has been a member of the European Union since 2004, why are crowns still the currency? It would certainly seem that euros would encourage European tourists to spend more money. Otherwise, travelers may only exchange a small amount of cash for crowns.

The euro was set to be introduced into the Czech Republic in 2010, but it soon became an unrealistic date. According to the New York Times, the earliest date for possible introduction of the euro is in 2017. However, the majority of Czech citizens are opposed to this change of currency. There is a risk of inflation and the rise in cost of living. Much of the Czechs’ fear of the euro stems from the Greek crisis.

One may wonder if the reluctance to join the euro from the Czech people also comes from national pride. The Czechoslovak crown was first put into circulation in 1919.(Photo by Mary Betz)

Crowns are a beautiful currency. One may wonder if the reluctance to join the euro from the Czech people also comes from national pride. The Czechoslovak crown was first put into circulation in 1919. (Photo by Mary Betz)

On the other hand, many Czech businesses are more than willing to adopt this change. The Czech car manufacturer, Skoda, is an example of one of these businesses. Skoda exports many of its cars abroad and using euros would help their business.

However, due to this controversy over the euro, it has been speculated that even 2017 could be too premature for the switch.

For more background on this topic, please visit the following article: Czechs split deeply over joining the euro

 

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