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European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (file photo) (epa)
March 8, 2006 -- Slovenia has asked Brussels for permission to adopt Europe's single currency in 2007. Slovenia would be the first new EU member state to join the 12-nation euro economy.
EU spokeswoman Amelia Torres said today the EU had received the request last week. She said the European Commission is expected to make a decision in May.
EU finance ministers will then decide, on July 11, if Slovenia can join and would then fix the rate at which Slovenians can exchange their national currency, the tolar, for euros.
Slovenia has asked for an early decision on euro membership in order to give it more time to mint coins and print banknotes.