Four months after a public debate about the introduction of the Euro as the official currency in Croatia officially started, 56 percent of survey respondents have welcomed the replacement of the Croatian Kuna with the European currency.
However, more than 70 percent of those respondents who agree with the introduction of the Euro think that there is no rush in introducing the European currency in Croatia commenting that the Euro should replace the Croatian Kuna no later than 2025 even though the Croatian government already announced to introduce Euro as an official currency by 2022.
Taking into account the experience of some of the EU member states when they introduced the Euro, the survey results were somewhat surprising. Even though the largest resistance was expected from the older population due to fixed income, relatively weak possibility of additional earnings as well as due to the uncertainty of the exchange rate upon which the Kuna would be converted to the Euro, it turns out that the younger population is far more sceptical.
In the age group from 18 to 29 years, the ratio of those for and against the Euro is fifty-fifty, whilst almost 70 percent of the age group from 60 to 75 years welcomed the introduction of the Euro.
‘’The most positive attitude towards the introduction of the Euro have those who are out of the labour market such as students and pensioners, whilst the employed and unemployed are the least prone to replace the Kuna with the Euro. Income has the most important influence on this attitude thus people with higher incomes are more inclined to the Euro than those with a low or no income’’, reported the survey.
Although European experience in practice shows that the fear of price increases is not justified as statistics shows that on the average the price level rises by 0,2 points, inflation remains the main concern. More than three quarters of respondents expect higher prices in shops, cafe bars and restaurants. Economists explain that perception of inflation is much bigger than the real one because the public expects price growth and pays much attention to the products they usually buy.
It is unquestionable that some products will surely record the rise in prices due to the ‘’rounding up’’ as was the case in Europe with services such as hairdressers, restaurants, cafe bars etc. However, this situation can be reined by the narrow range of fluctuation of the Kuna against the Euro when Croatia enters the European Exchange Rate Mechanism ERM2, or the Euro ‘’waiting room’’.