ECB: No Countries Ready to Join Euro, Despite Progress

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi speaks during a news conference in Frankfurt, Germany, on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014, following a meeting of the ECB governing council. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

The European Central Bank says seven countries in the European Union fulfill most of the requirements for joining the bloc’s common currency, the euro — but none has met all of the standards.

The ECB said Tuesday in a review that many of the countries have made progress when it comes to limiting inflation and budget deficits.

But none meets all the tough requirements for joining the EU’s 19-country shared currency, which has been shaken by debt crisis that raised concerns about its economic foundations.

The review assessed Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Sweden.

In principle, they already committed to join the euro simply by becoming members of the EU. In practice, all are years away, and one, Sweden, rejected membership in a 2003 referendum.