Eurozone Crisis: 'Don't Laugh' But Romania Still Wants The Euro
Politicians rarely begin their economic announcements by imploring the audience not to mock them, but Romanian President Triain Basescu told reporters in Germany on Thursday that despite the ongoing speculation that the single currency area is on the verge of splitting up, he still wants to join.
"Please don't laugh," Basescu said. "We want to join the eurozone in 2015."
The country is currently working to meet the entry criteria, which include having inflation no more than 1.5% higher than the EU's best performing members; a government budget deficit of less than 3% and a debt-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio of less than 60%; long term interest rates no more than 2% above those of the three member states with the lowest inflation.
Romania joined the EU in 2007, and under the 1992 Maastricht Treaty, which created the single currency, should also join the euro once those criteria are met. The country's inflation and budget deficit are some way off, and it is yet to sign up to the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM), a preliminary step towards entering the monetary union.
The country was hit hard by the financial crisis, experiencing a deep recession. It received a $17bn credit line from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2009.