The Koruna is the official currency of the Czech Republic. The word “koruna”, when translated into English, means “crown”, so the currency is sometimes referred to in English speaking nations as the Czech crown.
The upheaval involved in joining the EU is just the most recent in a series of seismic political events which have shaped the recent history of the Czech Republic. The last fifty years have seen a series of major changes which have altered the nation’s status almost beyond recognition. The post-war period saw the united Czechoslovakia beyond the “Iron Curtain” and under the effective control of the Soviet Union. In 1968, a revolution attempted to seize control from the Soviets, declaring an independent state, but the expected support from the West never materialised. Soviet tanks rolled into Prague, effectively crushing the brave rebellion.
President Gorbachev started to loosen the binds tying the Eastern bloc countries to Soviet control through his “glasnost” process, and as the Soviet Union collapsed, new Russian President Yeltsin continued the process. With the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the “Velvet Revolution” occurred, finally removing communist rule. This was soon followed in 1993 by the “Velvet Divorce”, whereupon the two previously federal states of Czechoslovakia decided upon an amicable split into their two constituent parts, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It was at this point that the modern day Czech koruna came into being, replacing the original Czechoslovak koruna as the separation of the Czech Republic from its former national partner Slovakia took effect.
The East European states relished their new found freedom, and many, like the new Czech Republic, forged new links with the West. This culminated in May 2004, when the Czechs finally joined the European Union.
Whether the Czechs do eventually decide to fulfil their obligations and join the euro seems a far off prospect at the time of writing. Like in the United Kingdom, it seems impossible to conceive of circumstances which would permit this to take place. Public opinion is firmly against such a move, and with the current financial crisis, the political will is lacking too.
So it seems as if the Czech koruna will live on as another of the independent currencies holding out against the euro. Like its more widely recognised cousins the British pound and the Swiss franc, the koruna survives. It is unlikely that UK registered online bingo sites have to look up the current exchange rate between pound sterling and the Czech koruna too often, but doubtless a few Czech nationals visiting or working in the United Kingdom do enjoy the occasional game. Many sites will indeed accept the currency, usually via Czech based credit and debit card accounts.