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FILE PHOTO - A man waves a Romanian national flag during a march in downtown Bucharest, Romania, October 20, 2013. REUTERS/Bogdan Cristel/File Photo


WARSAW (Reuters) - Romania, one of the fastest growing European Union members, may join the euro zone in 2022, once the incomes of its poorest citizens rise, foreign minister Teodor Melescanu said.

"Already today we meet all formal requirements, we could join the currency union even tomorrow. But we're afraid that it will have a negative effect on the poorest, pensioners' incomes," Melescanu told Polish Rzeczpospolita daily.

"I think that we will adopt the euro in five years, in 2022," he also said.

The euro zone consists of 19 members. The latest one, Lithuania, joined the club in 2015.

Fostering more integration between euro zone countries could mean that those remaining outside the club may risk being left in the dark on some key decisions.

Romania, a country of 21.4 million people, is one of the fastest growing economies within the European Union, with gross domestic product expected to expand by 5.5-5.6 percent in 2017, according to Melescanu.

At the same time, the country is still one of the poorest EU members.

(Reporting by Marcin Goclowski; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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