Poland is avoiding the eurozone. Should Croatia follow?

Croatia intends to become a eurozone member by next summer, but is it a good idea? Several, including London's mayor and Poland's foreign minister, say no.

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    U.S. Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney meets with Poland's Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski in Warsaw in this July 31 file photo. Sikorski recently told EU officials that Poland would join the eurozone when it resolves its problems.
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Poland’s foreign minister told EU officials his country will join the euro zone “when you have resolved your problems and when we can say to our people ‘we can now safely join.’ ”

On a related note, London Mayor Boris Johnson urges Croats not to put their heads “in the Brussels noose” in his Telegraph column yesterday.  If Croatia follows through with its plan to become the 28th EU member next July 1, writes Johnson, it will have escaped one doomed federal structure (in the 1990s) only to attach itself to another–without even the benefit of an opt-out clause.

It goes without saying that the EU needs Croatia much more than the reverse, if only to counter the economic and political backlash that will accompany the Grexit, for which firms are preparing now.  The Croats shouldn’t join as it’s hard to explain why Croatia’s economic performance since independence can be improved upon by doing so–but if they must, they are beyond foolish not to use their tremendous bargaining power to require better terms.

The economic integration of Europe, and the peace that trade begets, does not require lost sovereignty.  Rather, it requires trade which nation-states can only hinder.  It amazes one to think about how much more wealth and, by extension, charity there would be in Europe today if so many billions of euros were not forcibly transferred to the super-bureaucracy in Belgium.  Let’s hope Poland’s foreign minister is up for a long wait.

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