As economic conditions in the EU deteriorate and uncertainty grows, top officials in Romania say the country is not ready to join the troubled single currency in 2015, as planned. Bucharest will continue to make every effort to meet the conditions for adopting the euro. What is important is to keep inflation and the public deficit under control, among other things,” the Prime Minister of Bulgaria said. A new timetable for adoption of the euro will be discussed by the government following the December general elections, but this will make joining the Exchange Rate Mechanism, ERM, in January 2013 much unlikely. Accession to the Eurozone requires a minimum of two years’ membership of the ERM before adopting the euro.
Romania has been given until the end of this year to reduce its deficit to 3 per cent of the GDP. The budget deficit was 8.3 per cent of GDP in 2009. Furthermore, inflation in Romania last year was well above the 1-per-cent benchmark and is likely to remain well above that level in the months ahead. In 2009, Romania turned to the IMF and the European Union for a two-year 20-billion-euro emergency loan.
Neighbouring Bulgaria decided earlier to postpone plans to adopt the euro. In September, Sofia said it no longer saw the benefits of joining the troubled single currency, even though the country satisfies all the criteria.