Romania’s goal to join the eurozone in 2015 is “unfeasible”, President Traian Basescu told lawmakers on Tuesday.
“The 2015 deadline for entering the eurozone looks unfeasible to me,” Basescu said in a speech to parliament.
“But it is essential for us to adopt the single currency within the next three to four years” in order to fully integrate the European Union, he added.
Though Romania is on track for entry into the 17-member eurozone, it still needs to enact certain promised reforms including privatising loss-making state companies, Basescu stressed.
Since joining the European Union in 2007, the Balkan country has reduced its public deficit below the 3.0 percent of national output — one of the entry conditions stipulated by the Maastricht Treaty.
But the authorities have repeatedly missed targets agreed with the International Monetary Fund and the EU on appointing professional managers and privatising state-owned companies.
The economy had to be in better shape, Basescu said.
“I have seen countries that entered the eurozone two or three years ago after they met all the Maastricht criteria but they fell into recession afterwards because their economy was not competitive.”
“If we do not make Romania’s economy more efficient, joining the eurozone will end as a failure,” he warned.
Last November, Romania’s Prime minister Victor Ponta, a rival of Basescu, said that the 2015 deadline was not “cast into stone”, hinting to a delay for eurozone entry.
Poland has also pushed back a decision on joining the eurozone to after 2015.