Greece Readying Application For EMU Membership

BRUSSELS: Greece's Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou said July 12 that by the end of this year Greece will fulfill all the necessary criteria to join the European Monetary Union. The minister said Greece will be submitting its application to join EMU in March 2000. "The economic performance of Greece is satisfactory and by the end of 1999 Greece will satisfy all five convergence criteria of the Maastricht Treaty," Papantoniou said at a televised session of the EMU finance ministers' meeting here. Greece intends to join the euro-zone on Jan 1, 2001. There has been some speculation that Greece -- which has an inflation figure well above the euro-zone's average -- would have to be exempted from the EMU's inflation criteria to be able to join.

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