Monday, November 29, 1999

EU leaders back Estonia`s bid to join euro zone

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European Union leaders gave the final green light on Thursday for Estonia to join the euro zone next year as its 17th member, a diplomat said."Estonia has been done," the diplomat said.The decision was seen as a formality after EU finance ministers had approved the Baltic republic's bid to adopt the single currency, despite tensions on its debt markets.The euro zone is not expected to expand for at least another four years as other candidates -- the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania and Poland -- fall short of the entry criteria, notably due to their large budget deficits.(Reporting by Marcin Grajewski, editing by Dale Hudson)
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