Why Wait for the Euro?

Although the EU's eastward enlargement has not yet happened, the debate is already shifting to ask what will follow: when should the new, predominantly postcommunist, members adopt the euro? Assuming that they comply with the Maastricht Treaty's provisions concerning the EMU - and are not unfairly held to more stringent criteria - the core issue is whether new members would benefit more by waiting or whether they should seek early entry.

At the outset, it must be stressed that, in seeking earlier entry into the EMU a country assumes a more ambitious fiscal and structural program than would be needed if EMU membership is delayed. Early entry, otherwise, would be an empty gesture.

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