The report drafted by the body charged with preparing Romania’s accession to the euro area, leaked to Hotnews.ro one month after it was completed, reveals that a more realistic accession target would be 2025-2026 despite prime minister Viorica Dancila announcing January 2024 as the “firm deadline”.
The report indicates 2024 as the most optimistic date for entering the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM II) - namely the period when the +/-15% exchange rate stability must be defended by compulsory interventions at the same time as maintaining the accession criteria.
Nonetheless, the scenarios envisaged by the committee are to a certain extent arbitrary: they extend well beyond the strict euro accession criteria suggesting preliminary measures such as natality-stimulating policies, the development of business incubators and fighting tax evasion.
Other recommendations are more focused, though. “The moment of entry into ERM II and the level of parity of the leu against the euro must be chosen with the utmost caution,” since the National Bank of Romania will no longer be allowed to help the real sector by letting the currency to weaken more than the 15% band set around the parity level.
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