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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

EU Money Target to Be Met, Says French Bank


DAVOS, Switzerland -- Bank of France governor Jean-Claude Trichet said the European single currency project would be launched on time in 1999 under existing criteria, and both Germany and France would take part.

"We will respect the deadline of Jan. 1, 1999, and the criteria," he said in a weekend interview with Reuters Financial Television at the annual World Economic Forum.

Under the terms of the Maastricht Treaty, EU members must meet stringent financial criteria that have come under fire as member nations cope with an economic downturn and soaring unemployment rates.

Trichet dismissed either a softening of these criteria or a delay in the launch and said that both France and Germany would meet the criteria on schedule.

The budget deficit requirement, which limits states to deficits of 3 percent of gross domestic product, has raised particular concern as public purses groan in the economic downturn.

But Trichet said that pursuing strict fiscal discipline provided long-term economic benefits and was in the national interest.

?The states in the former Yugoslavia can find stability through the eventual formation of a Balkan single market, Yugoslav prime minister told reporters at the Davos forum Monday.

Radoje Kontic contended that a single market would integrate the region and be the most efficient way to give it a place on the world stage.

The first step was to normalize relations between the states and establish good economic and business relations. The second would be to establish a free trade zone in the Balkan region, he said.

"Of course I have no illusion that this can be achieved overnight especially not with all countries, but I believe initial starting of such a process is of great importance," he said.