Estonia lays out euro adoption timetable
Jan 28, 2010, 13:24 GMT
Tallinn - The Estonian government re-affirmed Thursday that the Baltic state is on course to adopt the euro as its currency next year.
An overview of Estonia's economic convergence plans published by the country's Finance Ministry said that all of the Maastricht criteria, the rules governing euro entry, had been met well ahead of a European Commission (EC) deadline at the end of January.
The forecast predicted Estonia's gross domestic product would decline by just 0.1 per cent this year and would return to growth of 3.3 per cent in 2011 - a stark contrast to 2009's predicted decline of 14.5 per cent.
Inflation would remain under control at an average of 0.4 per cent for 2010, the Finance Ministry said, allowing Estonia to become the third Eastern European country to enter the eurozone, alongside Slovenia and Slovakia.
In February and April, the EC and European Central Bank (ECB) are scheduled to assess Estonia's readiness. If all goes according to plan, Estonia will win approval at meetings of EU finance ministers on June 8 and July 6 as well as a key EC meeting on 18 June.
Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip has repeatedly stated that he believes Estonia has done everything necessary to swap its currency the kroon for the euro on January 1, 2011.