Romaniaa��s entry into euro zone may be delayed

| September 22, 2010
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Romaniaa��s President, Traian Basescu, has today said its entry date for the euro zone may be delayed as it introduces tough austerity measures in order to avoid a Greek-style debt crisis.

The countrya��s current target date for euro zone entry is 1 January 2015 but Mr Basescu said this could be postponed by “one or two years” as it aims to slash the budget deficit to 3% by 2012 – in accordance with EU rules.

“The crisis has taught us that we must look carefully at the economy as a whole, not just comply with the euro zone convergence criteria,” Basescu said.

“We have to discuss if we keep this objective or postpone it by one or two years, until the economy is ready to cope with this.”

He added: “Greece was a good lesson telling us we must be fully prepared for euro zone entry,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, just like the tough austerity measures in Greece, trade unionists in Romania have protested against salary cuts.

The country has emerged from recession but the economy is forecast to contract by up to 1.9% this year, following a 7.1% contraction last year.

In related news, the Baltic republic of Estonia was given the go ahead in June to adopt the euro on 1 January 2011 and will become the euro zonea��s 17th member.

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 euroa��s criteria on budget deficits and total Government debt for many years a�� 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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