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Hungary: EcoMin sees euro adoption in 2011-2013

Hungary could possibly join the “euro zone” sometime between 2011 and 2013 - after having met the necessary adoption criteria in 2009, Minister of Economy and Transport János Kóka said on Tuesday. 

“There is every chance that we will be able to meet the necessary (Maastricht) criteria by 2009, following which we can make a decision on adopting the euro,” Kóka said at a meeting with foreign investors in parliament. “Right now I see the possible adoption date at 2011-2013.”

Hungary is struggling to reduce its gaping budget deficit - the highest in the EU - from close to 10% of GDP last year to about 3% by 2009, and the country has launched various fiscal and structural reforms to help achieve this target. Although the country has no official euro target, analysts have put the likely adoption date at around 2012-2014.

Kóka said that Hungary is on the right track to cut its budget deficit, seen at 6.4% of GDP this year, to 3% by 2009, while inflation, currently at more than 8%, is also seen falling to 3% by that time. “I am also confident that economic growth, which has slowed down in the first quarter of this year, will be back on a rising track in the next few years, and will be more than 4% in 2009,” said Kóka. (