The European Union (EU) is set to introduce Estonia into the folds of the euro zone by mid-summer 2010.
Marek Belka, the International Monetary Fund’s head for Europe revealed last week that Estonia is on track to fully adopt the single currency.
“I hope and I think there is a high likelihood that the EU will give Estonia the green light for euro adoption in the first half of 2010,” Belka told Reuters in December.
Adopting the euro is not an easy task. Countries who wish to adopt the single currency must meet very specific criteria regarding low inflation, interest rates, debt and budget deficit, as well as currency stability. The decision also has to be backed by EU finance ministers.
Experts and government officials have said, however, that Estonia meets all the necessary requirements, putting them in position to begin the process of introducing the euro as early as July 2010, though a full currency switch probably wouldn’t occur until the beginning of 2011.
“The keyword for the year 2010 will certainly be the decision of adopting the euro and the relevant preparations,” said Andres Lipstokm, the Governor of the Bank of Estonia.
Should Estonia adopt the euro, they will be the 17th country to join the European Union.