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26 Dec 2005
New Member States need to step up efforts

Poland must still set a target date New Member States of the European Union planning to adopt the as their national currency must step up efforts if they are to be ready in the next few years, outlined the European Commission in a published on 4 November.
The Commission also prompted the new members to do more to calm the fears of their citizens about price increases following the introduction of the euro. According to a carried out in September 2005, three quarters of citizens in new Member States are afraid
the changeover will lead to excessive prices. Estonia, Slovenia and Lithuania, which plan to join the eurozone 2007, are the best prepared of all the 10 new members. Slovakia, which plans to adopt the euro in 2009, was also praised for the practical preparations it has made. But the Commission insisted that the forerunners, namely Estonia, Slovenia and Lithuania need to do more to prepare for the changeover, such as converting computer and bookkeeping systems. The European Commission did not say which countries were ready to adopt the euro. This will be determined in the Convergence Report which the Commission will issue in 2006. In order to join, Member States must comply with the 'Maastricht' convergence criteria, i.e. have low inflation rates, small budget deficits and limited currency fluctuations against the euro report Eurobarometer survey euro.
What are the target dates?

1 January 2007: Estonia, Lithuania and Slovenia
1 January 2008: Cyprus, Latvia and Malta
1 January 2009: Slovaki 2010: Czech Republic and Hungary



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