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Sibert, Anne

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Financial Times - United Kingdom | 04/05/2006

An appeal for looser criteria for euro-zone hopefuls

Europe should relax its inflation criteria for euro-zone hopefuls Estonia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Latvia and Slovakia, urge Willem Buiter and Anne Sibert, of the London School of Economics (LSE) and the University of London, respectively. "All candidate countries easily meet most of the Maastricht criteria for eurozone membership. They satisfy the exchange rate and interest rate criteria and only Slovakia narrowly misses one of the two fiscal criteria. This is in contrast to Belgium, Germany, France, Italy and Greece, which, if they were not already eurozone members, would not be able to join today, as they do not meet the fiscal criteria. ... The Maastricht criteria have been violated in spirit and letter so frequently and opportunistically that little further damage would be done by an interpretation that differs from the one favoured by the ECB and the Commission but respects the spirit and letter of the treaty."

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