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Poland wants strong euro zone before mulling membership - finance minister

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WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland wants the euro zone to become stronger before making a decision whether to join the single currency, Finance Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said.

“We are holding our fingers crossed for the euro zone to survive, to overcome its imminent problems ... Surely, the convergence is not happening as the authors wished it, Morawiecki, who is also deputy prime minister, told journalists.

“We would like the euro area to be strong and then in a few years will see how it copes with everything.”

The statement suggests a softening towards the euro zone membership by the eurosceptic Law and Justice (PiS) party that came to power two years ago.

Although he declined to say when Poland could start thinking about membership, on Friday, he told an economic forum that he is not an “opponent” of introducing the euro currency in Poland, but the time is not right yet.

“Let’s wait five to 10 years,” he said.

The PiS government has said previously that the flexibility of a national exchange rate has helped the country in difficult times. Earlier this year, Morawiecki said at an economic forum that it remained to be seen if euro zone was going to be “a part of the problem or part of the solution” for the EU.

According to various polls, more than two thirds of Poles oppose joining the euro area.

Reporting by Wojciech Zurawski; Writing by Lidia Kelly; Editing by Alison Williams