* BRUSSELS - EU economic and monetary affairs commissioner Joaquin Almunia welcomed Estonia's decision to delay its target date for euro entry to 2008 from 2007 because of high inflation, spokeswoman Amelia Torres said.
'We obviously take note of the new target date,' Torres told reporters.
She said Almunia 'also welcomes Estonia's realism in this respect'.
Earlier, the Estonian government said : 'In view of the developments concerning inflation, January 1 2007 has become unrealistic as a date to join the eurozone.'
It added : 'Remaining on the course taken by the government and the central bank to switch to the euro at the earliest possible opportunity, it has been decided to continue with the necessary technical preparations to adopt the euro on January 1 2008.'
To join the euro, countries must have an inflation rate no higher than the average of the three lowest rates in the eurozone, plus 1.5 pct.
The target annual inflation rate for euro zone hopefuls is currently below 3 pct.