Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Minister says Hungary on track to meet EU criteria for joining euro by 2009

Minister says Hungary on track to meet EU criteria for joining euro by 2009

Hungary's finance minister said Friday the country would meet EU criteria for adopting the euro by 2009, meaning it could switch to the European common currency in 2011, a news agency reported.Janos Veres said that, based on a convergence plan submitted by Hungary to the European Union on Friday, the country was on track to fulfilling the criteria by 2009, state news agency MTI reported.
Countries must have the criteria fulfilled for a full two years before becoming eligible to join the euro zone.
Government officials met this week at Lake Balaton to finalize the plan before giving it to the EU Commission by Friday's deadline.
Though some 20 items were modified, including a major change in Hungary's health sector, Veres said the original document was mostly unchanged.
Starting in 2007, the government plans to introduce a fee for medical consultations, which many EU countries implemented long ago, but which Hungarians would face for the first time.
The 63-page document was published on the Finance Ministry's Web site.
The EU previously rejected Hungary's euro convergence plan because it lacked credibility.
"I count on this program to be accepted by Brussels," MTI quoted Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany said as saying. "The convergence program does exactly what we haven't done for 16 years."
Hungary joined the EU in 2004 and had planned to adopt the euro in 2010, but postponed that due to a large budget deficit, which this year is forecast to reach 10.1 percent of Gross Domestic Product _ three times the EU limit for countries using the euro.
The government's euro adoption plan foresees a budget deficit of 6.8 percent of GDP in 2007, followed by 4.3 percent in 2008 and 3.2 percent in 2009.
The six-year plan begins by focusing on creating long-term balance in 2006-2009. A more dynamic, second period between 2009 and 2011 is meant to steadily boost Hungary's economic standing.
EU members that have yet to enter the euro zone must design a convergence program annually, while countries that use the euro are required to prepare a draft called the stability program.


Updated : 2021-10-27 08:13 GMT+08:00