EU says Latvia likely to miss euro target, hopeful for Slovenia, warns Estonia

Latvia's soaring inflation _ the highest in the &to=http://english.pravda.ru/main/18/88/354/16245_EU.html' target=_blank>European Union _ will likely derail its plan to adopt the euro currency in 2008, EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said Wednesday.

Slovenia is likely to reach its target to sign up next year, but Estonia needs to rein in its high inflation, Almunia said.

It was up to Estonia to decide its priorities, he said. Tough action to calm inflation and meet euro membership standards by 2007 could mean risking its economic boom.

To join the euro, nations must meet targets of low inflation, low budget deficits and low national debt, as well as limiting currency fluctuations against the &to=http://english.pravda.ru/main/2002/07/16/32584.html' target=_blank>euro.

Latvia's inflation hit 6.9 percent in 2005, but was forecast to fall to 3.5 percent in 2008 _ still well above the euro-zone average of around 2 percent.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team