BUCHAREST (Reuters) – Romania’s current target to join the single currency euro area in 2024 was “very ambitious” at the moment as it has large economic imbalances to correct, Finance Minister Florin Citu told private television station Digi24 on Monday.
Romania, a country of 20 million which joined the European Union in 2007 has postponed its euro adoption plans several times as it struggles to meet EU targets for its economy and institutions to catch up with those of richer countries.
Citu, who has estimated the consolidated budget deficit will return below the EU’s 3% ceiling in 2022, said on Monday that with proper measures in place Romania could get its economy ready to join the ERM-2 exchange rate mechanism, the precursor to eurozone membership in 2024.
Its southern neighbor Bulgaria plans to join ERM-2 this spring and adopt the euro currency in 2023, the head of the International Monetary Fund said earlier this month.
(Reporting by Luiza Ilie)