Romania has not completed structural reforms, we cannot talk about joining the eurozone – EC representative says. FM: We may join eurozone in 2022

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Romania has not completed the structural reforms it has undertaken, extremely important and we cannot talk about joining the eurozone before their completion, Head of the European Commission Representation, Angela Filote, said on Sunday in Alba Iulia.

“We have not set a time limit because it is very important both for Romania and the rest of the euro area that accession to this area is made when the state is ready, when the business environment is ready for such an accession, because we are not talking about nominal criteria, but on a number of actual criteria. The living standard, for example. In the 10 years of EU membership, the standard of living has increased, Romania has recovered to a great extent, but not completely, the gap against the European average. For example, it is now at 60% of EU’s average GDP, ten years ago it was 38%, and here we do not necessarily have an indicator to say to what extent should this indicator be, what level should reach to consider the accession safe but, if we look at the recent accessions to the eurozone, it was somewhere between 67-70-75% of the European average. And that’s just one of the criteria we look at,” Angela Filote said.

Also, the head of the European Commission Representation in Romania added that structural reforms have not been completed.

“What is important from our point of view, of the European Commission, before setting the target date, is very important to set all the steps that must be completed before Romania can join. They are well known and, among the first steps, there are some extremely important structural reforms, to which Romania has committed itself, but which it has not accomplished and we cannot speak of accession before the completion of these structural reforms. At the same time, the whole eurozone is going through a major reform process,” Filote said.

The head of the European Commission Representation, Angela Filote, and the Deputy Minister for European Affairs Victor Negrescu, attended on Sunday the ‘Dialogue with the Citizens’ conference at the ‘Dilema Veche’ Festival in Alba Iulia.

FM Teodor Melescanu: Romania may join eurozone in 2022

Romania may join the euro zone in 2022, once the incomes of its poorest citizens rise, foreign minister Teodor Melescanu said.

“Already today we meet all formal requirements, we could join the currency union even tomorrow. But we’re afraid that it will have a negative effect on the poorest, pensioners’ incomes,” Melescanu told Polish Rzeczpospolita daily, quoted by Reuters.

“I think that we will adopt the euro in five years, in 2022,” he also said.

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