Welteke plays down EMU warnings ahead of Nice

Bundesbank President Ernst Welteke on Thursday played down his earlier warnings about allowing eastern European countries into the Eurozone too soon, just as a difficult summit on EU enlargement started in Nice.

Welteke, who drew criticism from accession countries over a letter he sent to the German government last week, denied that he wanted tougher entry criteria for new members seeking to join the Eurozone.

But he said existing criteria laid down in the Maastricht Treaty on European Union sh