BUCHAREST (Romania), October 8 (SeeNews) – Romania’s central bank governor Mugur Isarescu affirmed on Thursday the 2014-2015 target date for the country's Eurozone entry, setting it as the key goal of his next five-year term, local media reported.
“I think that despite the difficulties, it [the Eurozone entry target] will be achieved. I also believe that it can be the necessary catalyst for the coherence of macroeconomic policies,” Ziarul Financiar daily quoted Isarescu as telling Romania's Parliament, which endorsed him for a new term on Thursday.
Isarescu has previously said that EU member Romania would join the ERM-2 exchange rate mechanism, the so-called euro waiting room, in 2012, before adopting the common European currency, the euro, in 2014.
The southeastern European country must meet the Maastricht criteria on inflation, public debt, budget deficit, currency stability and interest rates to qualify for adoption of the euro currency. The Maastricht criteria require that the annual inflation should not exceed the average for the three best performing countries in the EU plus 1.5 percentage points, and the budget deficit should not exceed 3.0% of the gross domestic product (GDP).
In August Romania raised its budget deficit forecast for this year to 7.3% of the gross domestic product (GDP) from 4.6% forecast earlier in the second budget revision so far this year, to match the projections made in a 20 billion euro ($29.5 billion) aid agreement with the IMF, the European Union and the World Bank signed in late March.a
The country’s consolidated budget deficit through August widened to a preliminary 4.5% of the GDP projected for the current year. Annual inflation slowed down to 4.96% in August from 5.06% in July.
Isarescu, 60, is one of the world’s long-serving central bank governors. He has held the post since 1990, with a short break between 1999 and 2000 when he served as prime minister.
($ = 0.6774 euro)