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Friday 11th of June 2010
June 8, 2010    

Estonia to become 17th country to join euro zone

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by Kay Murchie

The Baltic republic of Estonia has been given the go ahead to adopt the euro on 1 January 2011 and will become the euro zone’s 17th member.

“Estonia will become the 17th member of the euro area on 1 January, 2011,” Euro group president and Luxembourg Prime Minister, Jean-Claude Juncker told a news conference.

“The first commitment of the Estonian authorities is to ensure the sustainability of convergence and implement further reforms containing financial discipline, preserving financial stability,” he added.

The announcement comes at a time when many nations in the euro zone are implementing tough austerity measures in order to cut their budget deficits.

The latest EU estimates show that Estonia will post a public deficit equal to 2.4% of GDP this year and debt of 9.6% of GDP.

This means it has stayed within the euro’s criteria on budget deficits and total Government debt for many years - unlike many other euro zone nations.

Estonia, a country of 1.3 million people, had hoped to join the euro in 2007 but was prevented from doing so by high inflation.

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Tags: 17th, , , , Estonia, , January 2011,