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Poland to Cut Spending to Join Euro Zone

October 6, 2003

WARSAW, Poland (AP) _ Poland’s economy minister on Monday presented plans for spending cuts aimed at bringing down the country’s budget deficit and enabling it to join the euro zone in 2008 or 2009.

Jerzy Hausner said his strategy involves spending cuts of up to 7 billion zlotys ($1.8 billion) annually between 2005 and 2007.

``The ultimate aim of the spending cuts is to enable Poland to join the euro zone in 2008 or 2009,″ he told reporters.

The government’s planned 2004 budget foresees a budget deficit running at nearly 6 percent of gross domestic product. It argues that tackling the deficit now, as the government attempts to turn around the flagging economy, would hamper a recovery.

Countries using the euro are required to keep their budget deficits to a maximum 3 percent of gross domestic product, though Germany and France have failed to stay in line.

Hausner said he will seek government approval to trim spending in 2004 in an effort to curb next year’s forecast deficit, but refused to give details.

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