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FinMin confirms cabinet priority to adopt euro in 2009

SLOVAKIA's entry into the eurozone as planned in 2009 will be the priority of the new government, said Finance Minister Jan Pociatek at a meeting of EU finance ministers in Brussels on July 11, when the ministers also confirmed that Slovenia will adopt the euro in January 2007, TASR wrote.

Slovenia, which has the highest GDP per capita of the new EU8 members, thus becomes the first of the EU newcomers to join the 12 incumbent eurozone members (all EU15 members minus the UK, Denmark and Sweden).

Most of the other nine new EU entrants are expected to have problems in adopting the currency in the coming years either because their inflation rate is too high or their budget deficits are in excess of the recommended 3 percent of GDP level.

There have been fears that the new Slovak government, lead by left wing Smer, would not stick to the planned 2009 euro adoption, following statements by the new PM Robert Fico that Slovakia might as well delay euro if it proves more advantageous for the nation.

Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports

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