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Slovenia Accepted Into Eurozone, Lithuania Rejected
May 17, 2006
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The European Commission in Brussels, Belgium, accepted Slovenia's application into the Eurozone at its meeting on Monday, May 16. The EC's assessment of the Slovenian economy led it to recommend that the former communist country be admitted as the 13th member of the Eurozone.

The commission rejected Lithuania's bid for admission because the country did not pass one of the five economic criteria. The EC requires an inflation rate of 2.6 percent or less, and it estimates Lithuania's 2006 inflation could be as high as 3.5 percent.

Pending final approval by European Union finance leaders in July, Slovenia will join the single-currency zone in January 2007. The EU will set the exchange rate that will be used when the Slovenian currency, the tolar, changes to the euro.

Slovenia is expected to be the first of many new members to join in coming years.

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