Estonia's Euro currency bid gets Parliament's green light

Estonia's bid to join the Euro was backed by the European Parliament on Wednesday with 589 votes in favour, 40 against and 52 abstentions.
17. 06. 2010

"It is very significant that such a small country knocks at the Eurozone's door at the time of the worst financial, economic and social crisis.  It says a lot about the prospective member.  It also says a lot about the Eurozone itself", said rapporteur Edward Scicluna (S&D, MT), in the debate preceding the vote.

"This new accession to the Euro shows that the Economic and Monetary Union is fully functional.  In parallel to expanding we must also strengthen economic governance however.  It is the only way to continue building a strong EMU", said Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn, also in Monday's debate.

"Estonia's interest in the Euro in these difficult times is the Eurozone's light at the end of the tunnel", said Estonian MEP Ivari Padar (S&D). "Small countries would be lost without the European Central Bank and the fellowship of other countries", added Gay Mitchel (EPP, IE). "Estonia symbolises the ever-present interest in what the EU has built", said Wolf Klinz (ALDE, DE).

The resolution notes that Estonia has fulfilled the criteria as a result of the hard work of its government and people.  It also notes the Commission's statement that Eurostat has verified the validity of all relevant statistics supplied by the Estonian authorities.

The Estonian authorities should speed up practical preparations for a smooth changeover and ensure that the Euro's introduction is not used as a pretext for "hidden" price increases, adds the resolution, which also reminds the government not to rest on its laurels, since price stability risks and macroeconomic imbalances always need to be addressed.

Finally, the resolution notes the differences between the Commission and ECB reports with regard to the issue of the sustainability of price stability.