Survey: Majority of EU Newcomers oppose Euro

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A majority of voters polled in the 12 states which have joined the European Union since 2004 oppose the adoption of the bloc's common euro currency and would vote against any such move in possible national referenda, a new survey showed Monday.

The survey conducted by the Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS) pollsters for the London-based Open Europe think tank found that 58% of Poles would vote against euro adoption in a possible referendum. The near 39-million strong Poland was the largest of 10 mostly ex- communist states to join the EU on May 1, 2004. Polish officials have refused to name a target date for adoption of the euro, saying only that Poland would meet the Maastricht Treaty macro-economic criteria necessary for euro adoption by 2009. President Lech Kaczynski has suggested a public referendum on euro adoption could be held.

A majority of voters polled in other EU newcomer states were also opposed to the future adoption of the euro, according to the TNS findings. Some 64% of Latvians were opposed to a switch to the euro as was the case with 62% of Lithuanians and 62% of Cypriots.

Fifty-nine percent of Czechs were also against adopting the euro, along with 56% of Estonians, 47% of Bulgarians, 48% of Slovakians and 49% of Hungarians.

Only in Romania, which joined the EU January 1 this year along with Bulgaria, is there majority support for euro adoption, with 45% supporting the move and 36% remaining opposed, the TNS poll found. Slovenians, who joined the EU in May 2004 and have already adopted the euro, support the currency switch with 59% saying they would not want to reverse the move.

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