EU official: Monetary union with Israel possible

EU Commissioner for Industry Guenter Veheugen: I can see Israel being widely integrated into European economic structures.

EU Commissioner for Industry Guenter Veheugen has come out in favor of stronger ties between Israel and the EU, and does not rule out Israel joining the euro bloc.

In an article for German monthly "Internationale Politik", Veheugen wrote that he could "imagine Israel being widely integrated into the European economic structures", and "being a full participant in the internal market." He added that he would "not even rule out monetary union" with Israel in the long term.

This is the first time that a senior European commissioner has spoken out in favor of Israel one day joining the monetary union. Until now, the EU has scrupulously avoided statements on the subject.

Verheugen is vice president of the European Commission and is responsible for coordinating EU legislation for furthering economic goals. He earlier served as commissioner for EU expansion, responsible for procedures that led to ten countries joining the EU last May.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on January 12, 2005

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