George Jahn (AP)
BUDAPEST, Hungary — Joining the European Union's club of nations with a common currency has long been a goal of most EU countries still not using the euro. But in the wake of the eurozone's debt crisis, some outsiders are in less of a hurry that just a few weeks ago.
The benefits of the euro appear less clear than during the first months of the global financial turmoil in 2007 and 2008, when smaller members were protected against wild swings in exchange rates.
// On a national level, some EU members continue to aspire to quick eurozone membership. Estonia remains gung-ho about its prospects of joining next year.
Formally, the country meets all the criteria: At 7.2 percent of gross domestic product, its debt is the lowest in the EU; the third-lowest deficit at 1.7 percent of its GDP, and prices that fell by 0.1 percent last year. Estonia in fact is the only European nation to meet all eurozone membership rules — none of the 16 nations already using the euro do.//
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Some euro applicants in less of a hurry now