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ECB calls on Romania to keep up push to euro membership

European Central Bank Jean-Claude Trichet on Thursday called on Romania to maintain its drive to euro membership.

But speaking at a press conference in Frankfurt following a meeting of the ECB governing council, Trichet declined to set out a date when Romania should join Europe's common currency. „A lot of work still needs to be done,” Trichet said, but he added that Romania had already taken considerable economic steps forward in recent years, which he described as 'important accomplishments.' Romania joined Bulgaria in becoming the European Union's 26th and 27the member states when they signed up to the Brussels-based bloc in January.

Membership of the euro has become a sensitive issue among several EU new member states, who have criticized the tough fiscal targets, especially for inflation, that have been set for joining the common currency. So far only one of the new EU's new member states that have joined the bloc since May 2004 - the small former Yugoslavian state of Slovenia - has been given the green light to join the euro. Romania's economy raced ahead by 7.7% last year with Trichet describing the nation's recent batch of economic indicators as 'flattering.' (