More countries from central and eastern Europe may need emergency assistance from the European Union amid the global economic slowdown, EU Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said. The bloc uses its balance-of-payments fund, which now amounts to EUR25 billion (USD32 billion), to aid countries outside the euro zone. "You can't rule out that a country outside the euro currency might come to need this assistance," Almunia was quoted by
as saying. "We don't think we'll get to this position." Lithuania and Romania are speculated to follow Hungary and Latvia in requesting for assistance from EU and the International Monetary Fund, a claim refuted by Almunia. "Right now, there are no other candidates," he said.