Adoption of euro in Sao Tome not a priority, says central bank chief

13 July 2007

Lisbon, Portugal, 13 July – The governor of the central bank of Sao Tome and Principe has said that although the adoption of the euro currency by the islands is an “interesting” idea, it is not a priority.

“It is interesting while alternative, but what is needed is reorganization of the economy to respond to the challenges of competitiveness,” Arlindo Carvalho, governor of Sao Tome’s central bank, told the Lusa news agency Thursday.

Adoption of the euro is an idea being floated by some economists and politicians in Sao Tome, as well as ex-Portuguese finance minister Luis Campos e Cunha, who advocated this strategy last week during a visit to the islands.

If Sao Tome decides to replace its national currency, the best option is the euro because the EU is the archipelago’s main trading and business partner, a Portuguese academic was cited as saying by the Jornal de Sao Tome newspaper.

Equatorial Guinea’s president recently suggested that Sao Tome should adopt the CFA Franc.

Sao Tome’s central bank chief, speaking in the margins of a celebration marking the islands’ 32nd independence anniversary, said the adoption of the euro was a “question for reflection” by the authorities in the archipelago, who have more pressing problems to resolve. (macauhub)