Romania eyes euro zone entry in 2019

Romania’s government has set January 1 2019 as the new target date for joining the euro zone, budget minister Liviu Voinea said during the latest meeting of EU finance ministers council in Brussels.

The new target was the result of the progress achieved in terms of real and nominal convergence, the structural reforms and solid prospects of economic growth, Voinea told the Ecofin council. The announcement received a positive welcome, the Romanian ministry of finance said in a statement.

Also in Brussels, attending a meeting of the board of governors of the European Investment Bank, Romania’s central bank governor Mugur Isarescu said that the 2019 target date was not unrealistic, but said that the government would need to set and meet intermediate benchmarks, which would require full understanding of the process of joining the euro zone.

Last year, Romania said that it was renouncing the 2015 target for joining the euro zone. The announcement raised questions mainly about disadvantages such a step would generate among the population given the large economic gap between the country and the rest of the euro zone countries.

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(Photo: Carlos Paes/