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The Warsaw Voice » Comments » November 19, 2008
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From the Editor-in-Chief
November 19, 2008   
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We're living under the sign of the euro-actually, two "euros:" the single European currency and the Euro 2012 soccer tournament. These two "euros" are merging into one in our minds, and may also merge into one as far as timing is concerned.

The idea that the European currency should be introduced in our country in the year of the European soccer championships-which will be held in Poland and Ukraine in 2012-has long been thrown around in Poland. Wouldn't it be great if soccer fans coming here didn't have to exchange currency? Euro-enthusiasts were for; euro-realists were undecided; while euro-skeptics and euro-opponents were against. Then came the financial tsunami and it turned out that the strong Polish zloty was vulnerable to attacks from speculators. Looking enviously at Slovakia whose koruna has been much more stable-because it will be replaced with the euro as of Jan. 1, 2009-Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk came up with the slogan: "The euro for Euro!"

Time will tell if all the criteria of euro-zone entry will be met and all the barriers overcome. Unlike Euro 2012, the single currency is also a political and legal operation that requires changes to the part of the Polish constitution that deals with the National Bank of Poland. For the leading opposition party, that's a tasty morsel and an opportunity to shine in the political spotlight.

I am sure we will do a good job organizing the soccer championships in 2012. But I don't feel as certain about when we will be able to fill our pockets with Polish euros. Without a doubt, on the way to the single currency we will again see two Polands, both of them European: one located in the center, the other on the periphery.
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