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10 March, 2000
European Commission president Romano Prodi and Commissioner for economic and monetary affairs Pedro Solbes on Thursday welcomed the formal submission of Greece's application for entry in the third stage of the EU's Economic and Monetary Union (EMU).
In a joint statement, the two Commission officials said an expanded EMU region was auspicious both for the existing 11 member countries and new members.
They noted that the application came on the heels of a November 1999 endorsement of Greece's EMU candidacy by the EU council of economy and finance ministers (ECOFIN), when Greece was removed from the list of "excessive deficit" states, and following the revised convergence program for the Greek economy issued in January 2000.
A Commission spokesman, outlining the timetable for entry, said that the European Commission's report on Greek euro zone entry would be issued simultaneously with a similar report by the European Central Bank on May 3, 2000.
The EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee would table the two reports for approval at their June 5 meeting, after which they would go to the European Parliament for endorsement.
The final step in the approval process was endorsement by the EU summit to be held in Lisbon on June 19-20, the spokesman said.
Time table for Greece's euro-zone entry bid:
March 9: Greece submitted its euro-zone application to European Union Commission President Romano Prodi and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Pedro Solbes. The application contains economic data to demonstrate that the country has met the EU's five Maastricht entry criteria on inflation, interest rates, deficits, the public debt and a stable currency
May 3: The European Commission and European Central Bank will release their reports on the economic data contained in Greece's entry bid
May 26: The EU's monetary affairs committee will evaluate the two reports and make a recommendation to the 15-nation EU's finance ministers (ECOFIN)
June 5: The ECOFIN group of ministers will convene to make its own recommendation, based on that of the monetary affairs committee, also seeking a recommendation from the European Parliament
June 19-20: EU leaders will study ECOFIN's recommendation at a summit in Lisbon and announce the final decision on whether or not Greece qualifies to join the euro zone.
Source: Athens News Agency