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					Will the implementation of euro currency bring
 financial stability to the Central and Eastern
               Europe countries?
                                                               Keio University
                                                    Takemori Shumpei Seminar

                                                     International Finance team
                                                                           Jun Iwasaki
                                                                        Xiaoyanm Wan
                                                                       Sayaka Kawajiri
                                                                          Tasuku Koda
                                                                         Yutaro Sakata
                                                                        Naoya Togashi
                                                                        Yosuke Hiraga




Introduction
        In this paper, we focused on the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) countries
and the financial situation that they are currently in, following the enormous financial
turmoil brought by the sub-prime loan shocks and the Lehman shock of September
2008. Our aim of this paper is to seek the role that the euro currency had on
stabilizing the economy of some CEE countries, and discuss how the implementation
of euro would have had the same stabilizing effect for other CEE countries that has
not yet introduced the euro. In the first half of this paper, we will briefly review the
current situations surrounding the world, and CEE. We will also mention on the
requirements for countries that seek to introduce the euro. In the second half of the
paper, we will look at three CEE countries, Hungary, Latvia, and Slovakia, and
examine their situations specifically and statistically.



Review of the current situations


Situation leading up to the financial crisis

       The financial crisis was caused by the securitized instruments and the rating
agencies. In the United States, due to the housing bubble, even the people with sub-
prime ratings had become able to get funding. This is because the lenders were able to
collect their money by selling the mortgage, which had probably appreciated during
the housing bubble. This caused a moral hazard to occur between the lenders, which
made the increasing risk to be hidden.

        This mortgage loan was securitized as Mortgage Backed Securities and was
repeatedly re-securitized and sold to many investors. Also, the so called slicing and
dicing process were done by the banks and security firms to duplicate high rated
securities from the low rated tranches. This fabrication of trust had occurred during
the securitization process, and it had increased the risk which was not noticeable to
the investors. The most important part of this case is that these duplicated securities
eventually spread around the world as AAA rated securities, although its actual risk
was much higher. This process had kept on working as long as the real estate prices
had kept going up, but eventually the housing bubble burst, which caused the
unnoticed risks of MBS and its CDS to suddenly appear all around the world,
spreading the wave of shock. This unforeseeable catastrophe for the investors built up
so many defaults and bankruptcies everywhere around the globe, which eventually
brought about the serious situation now called the financial crisis.



The effect on Europe

       Europe economy was damaged, because the connection between Europe and
the United States was very close. Many financial institutions, especially in Western
Europe, held immeasurable losses by the subprime loan crisis and European financial
market fell into a credit crunch.

        Western European banks invested in Eastern Europe, which was an attractive
emerging market to the investors, causing the money to continuously flow into this
area. In Eastern Europe, many foreign companies established production bases and
expected the growth of a large consumption market. However, the financial crisis
forced western financial institutions to withdraw their subsidiaries from the Eastern
Europe, causing its financial markets to dry up of liquidity, thus causing the liquidity
crunch. Since the liquidity crunch, East Europe’s economy plummeted and largely
depreciated their currency value.



Euro/Dollar power balance
Oct 2008; €1=$1.246     Jan 2009; €=$1.327

        Since the financial crisis has ceased a little around December 2008, euro has
gradually grown strong against the dollar. As this graph shows, euro has been keeping
up its rate of increase in value up to this present day. It is seen that the United States
economy will need much longer time to return to at least some extent of pre-crisis
standards. That is not exactly the case for Europe, which is one of the main reasons
why the euro is gaining power as the dollar is losing its credibility. This is seen as a
chance for euro to become the new international currency.

Central and Eastern Europe Background

         While Europe was harshly damaged everywhere since the financial crisis, it
started to eventually take toll on Central & Eastern Europe (CEE). The primary
causes for the financial damage in this area was the draining of money from the
markets, which occurred when Western Europe’s financial institutions decided to
withdraw their subsidiaries in the CEE area to strengthen their damaged parent
institution. That could explain the reason for the shock state in CEE countries such as
Hungary right after the Lehman Shock of September 2009, but we believe that the
stability of financial sectors in CEE countries were very much affected by their weak
currencies. Our hypothesis is that one of the main reasons why the CEE countries’
financial sectors were unstable in this financial crisis is because they are not
implementing euro, the strong currency and is using their own weak small currencies.

      Graph 1 shows the currency exchange rates against the Euro for couple of the
CEE countries from July 2007 to June 2009.
 8                                              Lehman Shock

 7

 6
                                                                  Bulgarian Lev
 5
                                                                  Lithuanian Litas
 4                                                                Turkish Lira
                                                                  Poland Zloty
 3
                                                                  Croatia Kuna
 2                                                                Latvian Lats

 1

  0
2006/07/03       2007/07/03        2008/07/03

Graph 1

        It is obvious from this graph that Croatian Kuna, Poland Zloty, and Turkish
Lira’s exchange rates have all basically increased on quite a high rate since the
Lehman Shock had occurred in September 2009, following 2 years of stable rates.
What it means is that euro has grown increasingly strong against these small
currencies, which is one intention of euro itself.

        From a small country’s perspective, choosing the euro, the same currency used
in large developed countries like Germany and France, would mean that the
credibility for the currency will increase compared to the previous currency. This will
lead to a more stable exchange market for small countries implementing euro, such as
Slovakia who joined the eurozone from the start of 2009. Empirically, the same
exchange rates for Slovak Koruna, which had been joining the ERM-2, was much
more stable than that of the previously mentioned countries. Europe Exchange Rate
Mechanism-2, known as ERM-2, is a mechanism that limits the exchange rate
fluctuation and it is a mandatory stage which countries must go through before
implementing the euro. The fluctuation has been kept within 1 point, which is a very
small rate considering the original rates differ.
  33
 32.5
  32
 31.5
  31
 30.5
  30
 29.5
  29                                                                                                                                                                             Slovak Koruna
 28.5
  28
 27.5
  27
        2008/06/02
                     2008/07/02
                                  2008/08/02
                                               2008/09/02
                                                            2008/10/02
                                                                         2008/11/02
                                                                                      2008/12/02
                                                                                                   2009/01/02
                                                                                                                2009/02/02
                                                                                                                             2009/03/02
                                                                                                                                          2009/04/02
                                                                                                                                                       2009/05/02
                                                                                                                                                                    2009/06/02
Graph 2

         The basic arguments about why CEE countries should implement the euro
currency in the first place can be explained from couple of views. The most important
point that we would like to bring up is the risk of macroeconomic instability by being
out of the eurozone. The recent economic developments in Europe have resulted in
causing systemic problems where the current account deficits of CEE countries
increase, because of the capital inflows from Western Europe. While it becomes hard
to stop the inflow, the country becomes very susceptible to currency crisis. Also, in
this state, we could not expect much out of the fiscal and monetary policies to control
those situations. It is either those countries tolerate slow growth, or do nothing about
the high exposure to the risk of currency crisis under the small currency situation.
Thus, joining the eurozone will be the only way to be liberated from that trade-off of
growth and risk for many CEE countries.

        As I have briefly mentioned, there are certain procedures to go through and
certain conditions that need to be met for countries to newly enter the eurozone. The
conditions are usually referred to as the Maastricht Criteria. There are five conditions
that need to be met: 1) Inflation rate must be kept under 4.1%, 2) Government Budget
Deficit must be less than 3% of its GDP, 3) Debt ratio must be less than 60% of GDP,
4) Long-term interest rates must be under 6.2%, and 5) Participation in the ERM-2 for
the minimum of 2 years. Countries that seek to join the eurozone must meet each of
these 5 conditions at the same time for a year. The existence of these criteria is
another reason that CEE country’s economy would increase stability by implementing
the euro. Simply put, by working to meet the demand of these criteria, that country’s
economy will be fixed into a more strict and stable state. For example, tight fiscal
policies and the strengthening of government finance will definitely be needed to
reduce the budget deficit, but it will prevent the government from possible and useless
overspending, which could show up as an increase in sovereign CDS spread. Also,
since Long-term Interest rates are usually seen as the sum of assumed short-term rate
average and the country’s risk premium, reducing this stat by a large amount cannot
be achieved without cutting the risk premium. It means that this country must have a
more stable a financial sector and economy.



A path to euro introduction

         The very first step the country has to take is to affiliate with the EU. All of
EU8(Poland, Czech, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, Listonia) have
already finished this step, the next step is fulfill all the ERM-II conditions. This step
which requires countries to participate for at least 2 years, is very important to test the
stability of the country. Every new member of EU must introduce this system at some
time in order to join EU.

        ERM-II, or European Exchange Rate Mechanism-II, is a mechanism which
aims to stabilize the currency’s exchange rate to euro before countries try to join the
eurozone. The right to participate in ERM-II is not judged by legal standard, it is
decided case by case. For example, countries with complete floating exchange system
or cooling peg will face difficulties joining ERM-II.

        The timing and period of the implementation is very different by countries.
Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovenia introduced ERM-II in 2004 just after their
participations to EU. Where on the other hand, Slovakia joined ERM-II after one and
half year.
Table 1




        As a preparation for ERM-II participation, policies related to price
liberalization or reconstruction of economy must be adjusted before fixing the
exchange rate, because if those adjustments are not made, each country might face
different policy goals which will cause a economic confusion. Also as it is said above,
the economy must be able to withstand small shocks when fully implemented of the
euro, because those markets can be easily affected by negative external shock. Next
step is getting evaluated by the ECB and European Committee and achieve ERM-II
conditions, this assessment is conducted every two years. These two institutions
analyze the properties in different ways. European Committee mainly evaluate
whether applying countries satisfy those required conditions, where on the other hand,
ECB assesses the sustainability of the economy. European Committee makes a
proposal and board of directors will decide whether participants are really suitable for
the implementation According to the results. Board of directors also decides the
exchange rate of the local currency to euro.

The achievement levels of Maastricht Treaty by CEE countries


                        HICP Inflation rate
  5   4.2
                  3.7         3.9
  4         3.1
  3                                                    Maastricht Treaty
  2                                                    standard
                        0.7         0.8
  1                                              0.2   HICP Inflation rate
  0
 -1                                       -0.5




Graph 3

        Graph above shows the average inflation rate per year in Eastern European
countries and how far they are from the required level. All the countries above have
kept their inflation rate below the line, but this was probably achieved due to the
current financial crisis which caused some deflation among those countries. Therefore,
it can be said that keeping this level for two years would be a difficult task. In general,
countries with a smaller economy have more difficulties achieving the required
inflation level.
                      Government Deficit rate
  0

 -1
                                                                  Maastricht
 -2                                                               Treaty standard

 -3                                    -2.5                   Government Deficit rate
                    -2.8   -2.8   -3          -3.2   -3.2     to GDP(%)
 -4   -3.6
 -5

 -6

 -7          -6.3


Graph 4

       Countries that met -3% requirements were only Slovakia, Lithuania, Czech
and Estonia in 2009, while more countries satisfied the conditions in the past. This
was because the governments had spent huge amount of money on stimulus packages
to cope with the financial crisis.


                                  Gross Debt
 80                                                         Maastricht Treaty
 70                                                         standard
 60
 50
 40
 30
 20                                                                    Gross Debt(%)
 10
  0




Graph 5




        There aren’t many difficulties to achieve this criterion, since only Hungary
hasn't achieved it at least for the past three years. Other countries have succeeded in
decreasing the debt ratio to its GDP.
                      Long-term Interest rate
 16
 14
 12
 10                                                   Maastricht Treaty standard
  8
  6                                                           Long-term Interest rate
  4                                                           (%)
  2
  0




Graph 6

        Next condition is the long term interest rate. This condition assesses the
sustainability of economic contraction. The main reason for high level of long term
interest rate in many countries is due to the current crisis. The current financial crisis
has increased the government deficit and default risk to a higher rate.



Country Comparison


Introduction

          The financial crisis sweeping across the globe hit the Central and Eastern
European countries hard without a doubt. But the degree of the blow differed from
county to country. This section will go over the current situation of several Central
and Eastern European countries and analyze whether the introduction of the euro had
any positive effects on the economy. We will go over the current situation of the
economy by observing several financial indicators. The indicators that were used are
the GDP growths of the country, the exchange rate against the euro, yield rates of
government bonds, CDS spreads, government policy interest rates, and current
account deficits.

        The countries to be looked at are the Slovakia, Hungary, and Latvia. Slovakia
is a country that is in the euro community and is performing relatively well in this
financial crisis compared to other Central and Eastern European countries. Hungary
was chosen to compare against Slovakia, due to the fact that it has not introduced the
euro yet. How much damage did the financial crisis bring about in Hungary? Latvia is
a country in transition. The ERM-II is in effect in Latvia and we will analyze whether
just pegging down the minor currency against the euro could prevent a catastrophe.
Hungary
What happened and the Current Situation

          Last year’s financial crisis has taken a large toll on the Hungarian economy.
This happened even though the Hungarian banking system had little direct exposure
to the sub-prime market in the United States. But as seen from the graph below, the
GDP growth rate of Hungary suffered a large drop immediately after the crisis had
taken place, dropping well below average EU country.


                                   GDP Growth Rate Change
                               10.0
             GDP Growth Rate




                                5.0

                                0.0                                 Hungary
                                       1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12   EU in total
                                -5.0

                               -10.0
                                                 Month


                                                    Graph 7

Along with this, the value of the Hungarian forint went down by nearly 20% while the
yield rates of the bonds issued by the government shot up. The main reasons for this
were the weakening of the forint and the unusually high foreign owned government
debt compared to its GDP.




                                                    Graph 8

         As the crisis was unveiling itself in the fall of 2008, many people downgraded
the credibility of emerging countries, and Hungary was no exception. This caused the
forint to weaken and the retreat of foreign credit flow from the Hungarian economy.
This was a serious problem for Hungary because a large proportion of the government
financing relied on foreign investors. Lower credibility means higher interest rates for
Hungarian bonds and higher CDS spreads. This is because investors wanted to sell
their bonds rather than buy new ones. The interest rates went up to a level of nearly
12%. The following three graphs show the changes in yield rates and spreads
explained above.




                                        Graph 9

The current debt of the government is about 65% of its GDP. Although the situation
had slightly eased since the peak of 90%, it is still very high compared to neighboring
countries such as Czech Republic and Poland with 30% and 50% respectively. This
high level of government debt was caused due to the fact that manifests of the
elections held earlier in the decade included policies for pensioners to receive 13
months of payment and 50% wage raises for workers in labor intense industries. Of
course, this policy is no longer in effect due to the circumstances.

          Having one of the largest government debts and net external liability
positions among the EU countries makes it very difficult to provide liquidity in the
market once it has dried up. A total of $24.4 billion in loans had to be made from the
IMF, EU, and the World Bank in order to prevent a full-scale financial crisis from
occurring in Hungary. The last resort capital injection was mainly used to provide
liquidity in the banking system once more and to strengthen the risk management
system of the government. The effects of the rescue package are yet to be seen. For
now, the Hungarian government is focused on trying to mop up the mess caused by
the financial crisis and doesn’t have euro adoption as their top priority.

           Besides the current financial crisis, there are several issues to be solved
before being able to adopt the euro. The first is the budget deficit at an alarmingly
high level. At over -7%, the debt of the government is increasing year by year. As for
the total outstanding government debt, Hungary isn’t doing so well in this criterion
either. The gross government debt should stay under 60% of the country’s GDP in
order to be able to put the ERM-II into effect, but Hungary has debts totaling over
70%. The third criterion, the inflation rate, is also very high in this country too. While
the other V-3 countries keep their inflation rates under 3%, Hungary has one over 7%.
Hungary also has very high interest rates. Since the financial crisis started rocking the
world, it only worsened. 5-year government bond interest rates are as twice as much
as the other potential euro adopting countries. As for the last criterion, the exchange
rate, Hungary fails once again to stay within the normal fluctuation margins of the
ERM.

           From the data listed above, it seems to be that the Hungarian government
has a lot of things to do before it can fully integrate itself into the euro community.
But if the government wants to avoid another financial catastrophe like this one, it
will need to focus on stabilizing the economy as soon as possible.



Latvia
1. Overview
    The world-scale
financial crisis last year hit
many European countries’
economies. Unfortunately
Latvia is one of the
countries that have been
hit the hardest. In 2008,
after years of booming
economic success, the
Latvian economy faced a
serious downturn. Its GDP
growth dropped 10.3% in
the final quarter of 2008,       Graph 10

which is a far higher rate
than other European countries. Even worse, the country’s GDP shrank by 18% in the
first three months of this year and a further contraction of 15% is also estimated in the
next nine months.

    Latvia has received a large amount of direct investment from the neighboring
countries such as Sweden, Germany, and Russia, which led to the rapid growth in the
recent years. In fact, its economy grew at an average of 10% per year, after it had
joined EU. However, the global credit crunch has overwritten the well-polished
scenario. Investors became risk-averse and stopped investing in the developing
sectors. At the same time, Latvia’s recession is gaining pace after the real estate boom
ended, domestic demand collapsed, and the government began trimming expenditure
and cutting state wages. In April 2009, Latvian unemployment was at 16.8%, more
than double the value of last December, which was at 7%. As riots take place in the
capital city of Riga, it indicates that the “crisis” hasn’t ended yet.



2. Financial Credibility
   As the economy has been rapidly and deeply shrinking in Latvia, the international
community regards Latvia as less stable than before. Its budget deficit has reached 4%
of GDP in 2008, and economists think will be even worse this year. This harsh
                                                              CDS Spreads In T he Baltic States


                  1 400

                  1 200

                  1 000
   Basis Points




                   800                                                                                                                                                                 Latv ia
                                                                                                                                                                                       Estonia
                   600                                                                                                                                                                 Lithuania

                   400

                   200

                     0
                                                                          2008/3/26

                                                                                      2008/5/26



                                                                                                              2008/9/26
                                                              2008/1/26




                                                                                                                                                   2009/3/26
                                                                                                                                       2009/1/26



                                                                                                                                                               2009/5/26
                                                                                                  2008/7/26



                                                                                                                          2008/11/26
                                      2007/9/26




                                                                                                                                                                           2009/7/26
                                                  2007/11/2
                          2007/7/26




Graph 11


circumstance forced the Latvian government to ask the International Monetary Fund
and the European Union for an emergency bailout loan of 7.5 billion Euros. On the
other hand, the government nationalized the Parex Bank, the country’s second largest
bank. Taking these elements into account, Standard & Poors downgraded Latvia’s
credit rating to non-investment grade BB+. The credit deterioration is also clear when
you see sovereign CDS spreads.

    The Credit Default Swap (CDS) is a kind of financial product to hedge against
credit risk. So the higher the spread is, the more likely the country is going to default.
The Latvian CDS spread was the highest last February, and after that it seemed to
have settled down, but it is still higher than other countries in the region. This shows
that the global market thinks Latvia is relatively easy to default.



3. Latvia and the Euro
   Latvia has aimed to join the Euro-area since they joined the European Union in
2004. They adopted European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM-II), which pegs
national exchange rate to the Euro to some extent. Specifically the rate is pegged at 1
EUR = 0.702804 LVL since 2004, and a small fluctuation is allowed. Generally the
Euro is introduced after 2 years of ERM-II period.

          However, the crisis has dimmed the road to the integration of the Euro. It is
desperate for the Baltic nation to achieve various numerical targets needed to
introduce the Euro. First, the budget deficit has seriously increased. According to the
estimates, the government deficit could leap to 11.6% of its GDP, much higher than
3.0% required in the Maastricht criteria. Second, the long-term interest rate should be
below 6.5%, while that of Latvia stays high as much as 12.75% in June 2009. Finally,
the Latvian Lat is under pressure to be devaluated. Even though the Lat is pegged to
the Euro, its real value has been slashed after the financial turmoil. Indeed, in the
future market, the Lat will be dealt at half of the current value.

          As one might imagine, the Latvian government is now on the edge. In order
to receive a rescue package from the IMF and the EU, they need to cut government
expenditures even further. But on the other hand, bailing out Latvia under these
circumstances could make it stuck in the mud. The introduction of the Euro is sure to
be postponed for a certain time.



Slovak Republic
Introduction

          The Slovak Republic introduced the euro currency on January 1st, 2009. The
previous year, the year 2008, was a year of turmoil. The financial crisis coming from
the sub-prime mortgages in the United States shocked the world. This past year has
been a great time to investigate the pros and cons of Central and Eastern European
countries adopting the euro as their official tender.
The pros of the integration

          By adopting the euro, a country can raise credibility in the international
community because being able to join the euro mean that the economy has cleared the
minimum requirements set by the Maastricht Treaty. To be more specific, inside
eurozone, you won’t have to worry about currency risks anymore. Also, a country
will have a better opportunity to invest and be invested when many countries are
using the same currency. This will help stabilize the economy. Along with this, the
transaction fees will be spared, meaning domestic firms will be able to act more freely
and actively.

          The republic was once known as an agricultural country. But the growth of
recent years was backed up by investments from foreign automotive companies such
as Peugeot from France and Kia from South Korea. The new millennium has seen
Slovakia growing at an unprecedented pace, performing the best out of the main CEE
countries (see Chart 1).




                                  Chart-1: GDP(yoy %)

  12

  10
   8

   6
                                                                        Czech Republic
   4
                                                                        Hungary
   2                                                                    Poland
                                                                        Romania
   0
                                                                        Slovak Republic
  -2
        95
        96
        97
        98
        99
        00
        01
        02
        03
        04
        05
        06
        07

    09 8
          p
       Ex
  20 0
      19
      19
      19
      19
      19
      20
      20
      20
      20
      20
      20
      20
      20
      20




  -4
  -6
  -8


Graph 12

Facing the Crisis

          According to the IMF, the current financial crisis has brought a devastating
blow on the yearly GDP growth rates on Slovakia, dropping from 10.4% to -2.1% in
just two years. Global shocks damage on large durable goods, indicating the
automotive industry inside the country paid a large price.
          But on the other hand, Slovakia’s exchange rate has been stable ever since
putting the ERM2 into effect (see Chart 2). The country’s CDS spreads are relatively
low compared to other CEE countries (see Chart 3). The strength of the euro currency
helped Slovakia avoid a catastrophe.



                     Chart-2: Major CEE FX Rate against Euro (Jan 1 2007 = 100)

  130



  120

                                                                                  Slovakia Koruna
  110                                                                             Czech Koruna
                                                                                  Poland Zloty
                                                                                  Hungarian Forint
  100


  90



  80
   2007                      2008                         2009


Graph 13


                         Chart-3: Major CEE CDS Spread (Sovereigns 5-year)

  900

  800

  700
                                                                                          Slovakia
  600
                                                                                          Hungary
  500                                                                                     Czech
                                                                                          Poland
  400                                                                                     Romania
  300

  200

  100

   0
        2007                     2008                            2009


Graph 14

Slovakia’s current account deficit is about average among CEE countries (see Chart
4). But much of financing was through direct investment, which helped keep
liabilities to a minimal amount (see Table 2). The benefits of the euro are apparent.
                                Chart-4: Current Account Balance/GDP (%)


   -16

   -14

   -12

   -10                                                                                Czech Republic
                                                                                      Hungary
    -8                                                                                Poland
                                                                                      Romania
    -6                                                                                Slovak Republic

    -4

    -2                                                                     2009
           2000   2001   2002   2003   2004   2005   2006   2007   2008     Exp
     0



Graph 15




Table 2

Major CEE External Debt/GDP (%)

                                                     2008Q3        2008Q4         2009Q1

Slovakia

  Loans + deposits (national sources)                       24.1           25.5       29.9

  Loans + deposits (creditor source)                        20.4           21.0        9.8

  Debt securities (national source)                         11.3           10.8        7.7

  Debt securities (market source)                            5.6            5.4        5.4

  Trade credits (national source)                            5.4            4.3        3.8

Hungary

  Loans + deposits (national sources)                       44.5           53.3       54.6

  Loans + deposits (creditor source)                        38.4           49.4       52.5

  Debt securities (national source)                         37.2           32.0       27.2

  Debt securities (market source)                           24.8           24.0       22.9

  Trade credits (national source)                            3.1            2.3        2.4
Poland

  Loans + deposits (national sources)                18.1        22.9         21.8

  Loans + deposits (creditor source)                 11.9        16.0         14.4

  Debt securities (national source)                  13.8        13.6         11.9

  Debt securities (market source)                     7.7         8.1          8.1

  Trade credits (national source)                     3.1         3.4          3.0

Czech

  Loans + deposits (national sources)                22.8        21.3         19.4

  Loans + deposits (creditor source)                 15.8        14.5         12.8

  Debt securities (national source)                   9.5         7.8          7.1

  Debt securities (market source)                     5.9         5.7          5.7

  Trade credits (national source)                     3.1         2.6          2.3



Wrap up

        At this point, the benefits of the euro such as the increase in direct investment,
smart governing, stable exchange rates, and the increase in euro land support are
apparent in the financial indicators. But the current financial crisis is a global one and
effects of the decrease in demand inside EU and financial institutions are inevitable.
The competitiveness of Slovakia’s exporting industries are disadvantageous to that of
other CEE countries where their value of currency has dropped significantly. Also,
giving up the power of financial policies to the ECB might have bad results too if the
recovery of the Slovakian economy is slower than expected.

        For now, Slovakia will need to focus on reinforcing the economic foundation
that helped it join the euro club and make use of the stability of the financial
indicators to get the economy back on it’s feet. In order to tackle the problem of the
relatively high valued currency among CEE countries, Slovakia must raise the
production efficiency of her industries. Only by realizing this, will the benefits of the
introduction of the euro be truly proved.



Conclusion

       The difference of the damage dealt by the financial crisis is evident among the
countries analyzed above. Although there are some risks in introducing the euro,
having the euro as the official currency will bring stability to the economy. But for
most CEE countries, there are numerous numbers to clear before being able to
introduce the euro. The governments will need to focus on stabilizing their own
economies for now.



Conclusion
        As we have examined, the current situation of the CEE country economies are
not looking well right now. In the countries that we picked up, Slovakia, which had
already implemented the euro, has had rather stable situations in that area. However,
for Latvia and Hungary, the situation is quite devastating, especially in Latvia. We
can say that this was due to the fact that they had not yet implemented the euro. But
when we examine if these countries, or other CEE countries that has not implemented
the euro, the current situation keeps them from quickly advancing their process of
euro implementation. This is due to the fact that these countries must carry out
stimulus package plans to cease the situation of their current economy, and doing so
would work against them in tightening their governmental financing to meet the
Maastricht Treaty standards for euro implementation. This leads us to the conclusion
that euro implementation is very much beneficial to the CEE countries in providing
them financial stability, but it seems unrealistic for these countries to accelerate their
implementation process because of their concern in domestic situations.
References
<Data>

Eurostat website,
http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/eurostat/home/

European Central Bank website,
http://www.ecb.int/home/html/index.en.html

JETRO website,

http://www.jetro.go.jp/world/

IMF country information,

http://www.imf.org/external/country/SVK/index.htm

JEDH website,

http://www.jedh.org/jedh_comparator.html

Bloomberg website,

http://www.bloomberg.co.jp/




<Papers>

Rostowski, Jack “When Should the Central Europeans Join EMU?”
International Affairs, Vol. 79, No. 5 (Oct., 2003), pp. 993-1008, Blackwell
Publishing

IMF Country Report No. 09/105 Hungary p.5-34

Horvath, Julius “2008 Hungarian Financial Crisis”

CASE Network E-briefs

IMF Country Report No. 09/223 Euro Area Policies p.6-41

				
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