Hungary should join the eurozone as soon as possible, the country's deputy central bank governor Ferenc Karvalits said, Reuters reported from Brussels.
“We still think Hungary should join the euro zone as soon as possible,” he told an economic seminar in Brussels.
Karvalits also noted, however, that Hungary should only enter the Exchange Rate Mechanism 2, the currency stability test before euro entry, when the country is on track to meet other criteria for adopting the euro.
“ERM2 entry is reasonable only when prospects of meeting Maastricht criteria are safely on track,” the deputy central bank governor said.
The other criteria include low inflation and interest rates, a budget deficit below 3% of GDP and debt below 60%.
Hungary's government plans to keep the fiscal deficit below 3% of GDP, and expects consumer prices to rise 3.7-3.9% in 2009. State consolidated debt rose, however, rose sharply to a preliminary 73% of GDP at the end of 2008, boosted by drawdowns from a financial package granted to Hungary to whether the financial crisis by the IMF, the EU and the World Bank last autumn. (MTI – Econews)