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EP Gives Final Approval to Estonia’s Euro Zone Accession

Date: 17.06.2010

The Members of the European Parliament gave green light to Estonia’s accession to the Euro Area as of 1 January 2011.

Expectedly, the EP approval was overwhelming with 589 votes in favor, 40 votes against, and 52 abstaining.

“It is indicative that such a small nation is knocking on the door of the euro zone in the time of the most severe financial, economic, and social crisis. This says a lot about the future member of the euro zone, and about the euro zone itself,” stressed MEP Edward Scicluna, a rapporteur on Estonia’s euro adoption from Group of Socialists and Democrats.

In its resolution, the European Parliament points out that Estonia has fulfilled all criteria for Euro Area membership thanks to the decisive, reliable, and continuous actions of the Estonian government and people.

It also points out that Eurostat – together with Estonia’s National Statistical Institute – has verified the validity of all financial data provided by the Estonian authorities.

The Estonian government will now be responsible for handling the practical preparation for the adoption of the euro in order to ensure smooth transition, and to guarantee that the introduction of the common European currency will not be used for secretly instituted hikes of consumer prices. The MEPs encourage the Estonian state to continue to maintain sensible fiscal policies.

Estonia’s euro bid was formally approved by the finance ministers of euro zone countries on June 8, 2010. Estonia will become the seventeenth euro zone member and the fifth of the states that joined the EU in 2004 to adopt the currency. Slovenia entered the euro zone in 2007, Cyprus and Malta in 2008 and Slovakia in 2009.

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