Poland, the only EU newcomer yet to fix a target date for joining the eurozone, could adopt the single currency by 2012-2013, its central bank chief Slawomir Skrzypek said on Feb. 5. "The finance ministry forecasts that we will meet the convergence criteria, which are a condition for joining the eurozone, by 2009," said Skrzypek.
Of the 10 countries which joined the EU in 2004, most of which were formerly part of the communist bloc, only Slovenia has switched to the European single currency.
Last week, Skrzypek said the central bank would begin work in the first half of this year on a report that would analyze the potential impact of switching from the zloty to the euro.
Among the other EU newcomers, Cyprus and Malta are aiming to adopt the euro next year and Slovakia in 2009. The Czech Republic is planning to join the eurozone in 2012. Hungary has shifted its target to 2013, while Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have also been forced to postpone membership plans until the next decade.
EU nations not already using the euro are required in principle to prepare for membership of the eurozone and must satisfy performance targets regarding public finances, inflation, interest rates and exchange rates.
Slovenia's accession to the eurozone on January 1 this year increased its membership to 13 states.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007