Finance minister: No target for Poland to join "flawed" eurozone

Finance minister: No target for Poland to join "flawed" eurozone

Poland still does not have a target year to adopt Europe's common currency, Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski said Saturday, noting that the global financial crisis had uncovered "significant institutional and structural flaws in the eurozone.", reported DPA.

"On the conditions we would like to see obtained before we feel comfortable joining, ... it's those flaws that have to be repaired," he told reporters in Warsaw the day after his country took over the rotating EU presidency.

"The stability of the eurozone is an absolutely vital Polish interest," he added. "It's clear that a great deal needs to be done. We need to think about the potential traps and reefs along the route."

Poland joined the EU in 2004 and had originally planned to adopt the euro in 2014.

When asked if Poland could do so during the term of incoming ECB president Mario Draghi, which runs from 2011 to 2019, Rostowski only would say "maybe." He noted that Poland still has to meet inflation targets that are a pre-requesite for it to join.

In the meantime, Warsaw would like to see more "efficient" communication between the finance ministers of the common currency area and those of the EU at large, Rostowski said.

Poland wants to have unprecedented access as a non-euro member to meetings of the Eurogroup panel of eurozone finance ministers - an idea that Prime Minister Donald Tusk this week suggested has already created "heated debate" in Brussels.

Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski argued that it is normal for Poland to want to have a say in decisions now being made that will affect the country once it joins the eurozone.

"We need efficient coordination between the Eurogroup and (EU finance ministers) . It's just not efficient that all we get is a report back (from the Eurogroup)," Rostowski said. "In normal times, it doesn't matter. But we haven't had normal times."

Rostowski said he had not been asked to participate in a Eurogroup teleconference on Greece due to be held later on Saturday, or in the next regular Eurogroup meeting on July 11.

In more general terms, Rostowski argued, politicians have to "start thinking in terms of common European interest" and show solidarity - a mantra of the Polish EU presidency - amid signs of "growing estrangement" between northern and southern member states.

"The short-sightedness of some opposition parties in some countries regarding common institutions and programmes is breath-taking," he said. "If we don't hang together, we all hang separately."

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