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Cyprus willing to adopt the euro
2002-11-06 08:18:50

by Nicos Bellos Brussels, Nov 6 (CNA) -- Cyprus is the only candidate country seeking European Union membership to have declared its desire to adopt the EU currency, the euro, as soon as possible, after it joins the Union.

The announcement was made by Finance Minister Takis Klerides at a meeting here of EU Finance Ministers and their counterparts from the candidate countries, who discussed preaccession economic programmes for 2002 relating to fiscal and monetary issues.|

Representatives from the applicant countries said that in the first years after accession they are likely to be contributing more to the EU budget than they will actually be receiving from Brussels.

Speakers at the meeting said the preaccession programmes had helped candidate countries in their monetary and fiscal policies and in efforts to promote macroeconomic stability.

They also said that with the exception of Cyprus all other candidate countries have a much lower per capita income than that of EU member states.

Klerides participated earlier Tuesday in a meeting of Finance Ministers from applicant countries in which he presented Cyprus' strategy on how to benefit from available funds from the EU structural funds.

He said the EU has given an undertaking to make available a large sum of money as special assistance to help the economic development of the areas of Cyprus that are now under Turkish occupation and thus contribute to a more balanced development on the island.

Cyprus will chair the next meeting of the 13 Finance Ministers from the candidate countries, to take place in the first half of next year under the Greek EU presidency.

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