BRATISLAVA: Slovakia will be the next country to join the euro currency, making the switch on January 1 2009.

The former Warsaw Pact nation, with a population of just 5.4 million, has already formalised a design for its new currency, which will replace the Koruna.

Last year, the country's budget deficit was 2.2%, well below the 3% limit of GDP set as a benchmark for joining the euro. GDP growth in Slovakia is expected to be 7.9% this year.

Data sourced from Deutsche Welle (Germany); additional content by WARC staff