The European Commission and the European Central Bank have given the green light for Malta and Cyprus to join the Eurozone. The final decision will be taken by the EU Finance Ministers in July, after consultation of the European Parliament and following a discussion by EU leaders at their June summit. If all goes well, Malta and Cyprus will join the 13 existing Eurozone members in January 2008, the last to join being Slovenia in January 2007. While both countries have inflation rates within the required thresholds, their public deficits are slightly higher than the EU’s 60 per cent limit. However, the public deficit limit has not been strictly applied in the past in relation to Italy, Belgium and Greece and has not been an obstacle in relation to Malta and Cyprus either.