The Hungarian government wants the country’s new constitution, which will be finished in April, to include a clause to officially mandate the forint as the country’s currency. “Our country is not ready for the euro. We cannot imagine introducing it before 2020,” says Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. “Hungary has to defend the forint, because all of its economic contracts are in this currency.”

However, as Rzeczpospolita points out, when they joined the European Union, the countries of the region made a commitment to adopt the euro at some future date. As it stands, only Slovenia (2007), Slovakia (2009) and Estonia (2011) have joined the Eurozone. The other countries of Eastern and Central Europe have yet to satisfy the Maastricht criteria that would enable them to become part of the Eurozone.

Now many of them are less than eager to adopt the single currency.

“Among the region’s most ardent eurosceptics, Czech President Vaclav Klaus insists that the Eurozone has changed so substantially since the Czech Republic entered the EU that his country will no longer be obliged to join the euro when its government decides on the adoption of the single currency in 2014.”

Nor is Poland in any great hurry to accept the euro. Prime Minister Donald Tusk has pledged that the single currency will replace the zloty before the end of 2012, but a representative of the Polish Ministry of Finance has said that it will not happen before 2015.

According to the Polish daily, the Baltic States remain the major euro-optimists with both Lithuania and Latvia planning to join the Eurozone on 1 January 2014.

“In recent years, both of these countries have endured painful spending cuts in their bid to reach this goal. For them, the adoption of the single currency is mainly perceived as a political rather than an economic advantage.”

Things are very different in Bulgaria where initial enthusiasm has been tempered by the crisis in nearby Greece.

"Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has officially declared that his country remains committed to the single currency, and every effort to adopt the euro in three years time. As for Romania, the government in Bucharest is preparing to adopt the euro in 2015.”

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