Sikela said that in the mid-1990s Slovakia had no sound economic policies and no tradition of fiscal discipline. But the goal of adopting the euro was the catalyst that gathered public support for painful reforms needed to consolidate state finances, Sikela said.
It was worth it, apparently. Slovakia is now, together with the Czech Republic, considered a relative safe haven, more so than many other countries, both in Central and Eastern Europe and in the euro zone.
"Public finances are in good shape; the structure of the economy is very good," Gyula Toth, head of EEMEA FI/FX Strategy, UniCredit, told CNBC.com.
The country's membership in the European Union and the prospects of joining the euro, together with generous aid from the state and a flat tax introduced in 2004, have brought a wealth of foreign direct investment from famous multinational names.