Hungary mulling Euro timetable
Thursday, October 13, 2005, 10:50
The government will decide by December whether to stick to its goal of adopting the euro by 2010 or to maintain its modernization program, Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány told to Les Echos in an interview. European Union Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said October 11 Hungary is acting too slowly to lower its budget deficit, which must be cut to 3% by 2008 for euro adoption two years later. This year's deficit forecast was revised on August 28, after the EU's statistics office Eurostat told Hungary to account for the cost of highway construction in the budget. After the decision of Eurostat, our dilemma is to decide which is the most important: Euro entry or to maintain our modernization program, that is, to go on investing in the transport network Gyurcsány told the paper. The only real advantage of euro adoption is to stop exchange risk, he added. Gyurcsány said the deficit will reach at least 4.7% next year, following Eurostat's decision.