………But as the euro crisis has deepened, it has also helped that Romania and the others have kept their own currencies.The Czech Republic is potentially the most interesting case.
That has given these still-developing countries a host of advantages, while many economists believe the euro zone’s one-size-fits-all monetary policy has hampered Ireland, Greece and Spain in restarting their moribund economies. Indeed, many of the post-Communist states are having strong second thoughts about their long-running goal of joining the euro.
Mugur Isarescu, the governor of the National Bank of Romania, said in an interview that maintaining its own currency had given Romania the flexibility to set interest rates, control liquidity and allow the currency to depreciate to help rein in the deficit. In the absence of control over monetary policy, he noted, euro zone countries like Greece are forced to rely primarily on fiscal policy: taxing and spending.
“Of course there is a backlash and disappointment because E.U. accession was seen as a panacea,” he said. “The dreams were too high.”
In Romania’s case, maintaining its cheaper currency, the lei, has made its exports — two-thirds of which go to the euro zone — more competitive and given it a lower cost of living that has made the country a sudden draw for highly qualified workers from struggling euro zone countries.
Seven of the 10 former Communist countries in the European Union have yet to adopt the euro. The Czech Republic, which uses the koruna, wants a referendum before joining and has cited 2020 as the earliest target date. Hungary has stuck with its currency, the forint, and said it would not adopt the euro before 2018. In Poland, Prime Minister Donald Tusk recently deemed the euro “completely unattractive.”
Romania’s previous target for joining the euro zone, in 2015, is now “out of the question,” is actually Mr. Isarescu said.………
They have a very real possibility, both by virtue of their location and history, of becoming a manufacturing powerhouse that could be a very serious competitor to Germany.
If the Czech Republic drags its feet on Euro accession, and they start grabbing market share from the Germans, one wonders when the German politicians will start sounding more "Mediterranean".