After months of build-up and clearing the final hurdles, Estonia has officially been given the go-ahead from Brussels to become the 17th member of the eurozone at the beginning of next year.
The EU on Tuesday gave the small country the green light for taking on the currency as of Jan. 1, converting at the current exchange rate of 15.6466 Kroon per Euro.
The official backing comes as no surprise – Estonia’s bid for the Euro has been endorsed over the past few months by every relevant EU institution. The country has already begun listing prices in euros alongside kroons.
Estonian Finance Minister Jurgen Ligi was brightly optimistic about the final decision, saying that the Euro will help boost the economy of the country.
He said the Euro “will be very important in getting our economy back on track and boosting well-being.”
European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Ollie Rehn, however, said that after adopting the EU’s single currency, Estonia would still have to maintain strict fiscal responsibility.
“To ensure that the adoption of the Euro is a success, Estonia must pursue its efforts to maintain a prudent fiscal policy stance,” Rehn said in a statement.
Estonia, along with Baltic neighbors Latvia and Lithuania, was badly hit by the global economic crisis as it saw five years of breakneck growth come to a grinding halt with double digit contraction.
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