IMF sees EU candidates joining euro earliest 2008

POLAND - The Internationl Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Thursday that it would take European Union candidates as long as four years to join the euro zone after planned EU accession in 2004.

Susan Schadler, the head of the IMF's European Department I, said that the mostly east European candidates could join the Exchange Rate Mechanism II (ERM-2), or the eurozone's waiting room, two years after joining the EU in 2004.

Most candidates hope to join ERM-2 immediately after joining and sign up formally

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