Deficits remain obstacle for new EU members

The greatest hurdle preventing the EU accession countries from joining the euro quickly is the state of their public finances, European Central Bank executive board member Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa said in a newspaper interview.

"Most of the accession countries have made big progress in bringing down inflation and reducing their budget deficits," Padoa-Schioppa told the business daily Handelsblatt.

"Some of them have good chances of meeting the convergence criteria in time to adopt the euro at an

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