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FinMin reiterates goal to adopt euro in 2011 to 2013

Hungarian Finance Minister János Veres reiterated government expectations that the country may adopt the euro between 2011 and 2013.

"The year 2009 is the first year when Hungary has a chance to satisfy the criteria" for euro-entry, Veres said on Friday at a conference in Nyíregyháza, eastern Hungary. Adopting the European Union's currency is "realistically achievable between 2011 and 2013," he said. The country refrained from setting an official target date to adopt the EU's currency in the final version of its euro plan, which was submitted to the European Union on Aug. 31. Hungary in July abandoned plans to make the switchover by 2010 after admitting it will fail to trim the deficit enough to meet euro-entry rules. The euro-entry plan forecasts Hungary's budget deficit by EU standards will decline from 10.1% of gross domestic product this year to 4.3% of GDP in 2008 and 3.2% in 2009. To qualify for the euro, candidates must keep their deficit to less than 3% of GDP. The council of European Union finance ministers, known as Ecofin, will discuss the commission's position on the plan at a meeting Oct. 10, Veres said in parliament Aug. 30, adding Hungary has a good chance the program will be accepted. (Bloomberg)