After Estonia on 1st January 2011, will Poland be next Eastern European country to adopt the Euro single currency? Perhaps, but it will require a little more time as the Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk
revealed on Friday that Poland will be ready to meet the Maastricht Criteria
“Being very cautious I believe that in 2015 Poland will be ready,
” he said while keen to stress that he was not out to set a concrete date of Poland’s entry to the Eurozone.
“Today Poland is meeting the Maastricht criteria to a greater extent than the majority of Eurozone members.
So is a date in sight? In September 2008, before investment bank Lehman Brothers collapsed triggering the global financial crisis, the Polish government had unveiled 2012 as its target year for Euro-adoption.
Then last December during a Finance Ministry-organized seminar on the euro-adoption process, Polish Deputy Finance Minister Ludwik Kotecki revealed
that “2015 is more likely than 2014, but it's not like 2015 is a new date which would replace 2012, it's not that kind of target.
Soon after that seminar Mr Tusk himself said 2015 was a "realistic and not overly-ambitious goal
The Maastricht Criteria
determine whether a country is ready to adopt the Euro as its national currency. To satisfy these criterions, the country’s inflation rate
must not be more than 1.5 percentage points higher than the average of the three best performing (lowest inflation) member states of the EU, the ratio of government debt to GDP must not exceed 60%
at the end of the preceding fiscal year and budget deficit must be below 3% GDP
Today Poland only fulfils one
of these criterion as it’s ratio of government debt to GDP stands at 53%, but it’s budget deficit in light of the financial crisis needs addressing as it currently stands at 7.3%
Even if all criteria are met, adopting the single currency will require a referendum in Poland since it would require a change to the constitution.