Bulgaria wants to enter the euro area on January 1, 2024. The new centrist government is determined to take this step, Finance Minister Assen Vassilev told Reuters.
Assen Vassilev, a Harvard graduate who took office in December 2021, said that neither rising inflation nor this year’s deficit should push Bulgaria out of the way to adopt the euro.
– We confirmed our goal of adopting the euro by Bulgaria on January 1, 2024. From a technical point of view, everything is going well, we are doing all the necessary work, so we think there will be no problems – Vassilev said in an interview with Reuters, answering the question about the date of the country’s accession to the eurozone. He added that he was “convinced” about the date of joining the euro zone.
Bulgaria wants to join the euro area
The Bulgarian government and central bank presented a plan to introduce the single European currency from 2024 in early July 2021. A year earlier, Bulgaria was admitted to ERM II. The adoption of the euro by Bulgaria was previously announced by the previous government of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov. Kiril Petkov became the new Prime Minister of Bulgaria in mid-December 2021.
The country’s entry into the euro area is planned without any transition period. This means that the date of adoption of the new currency will coincide with the introduction of the euro as the official tender. For the first month after the adoption of the common currency, the levs and the euro will be used in parallel.
In preparation for the adoption of the euro, the Bulgarian currency should pass through its participation in the ERM II currency mechanism, also known as the “euro zone waiting room”, at least until July 2022. Positive evaluations from the European Commission and the European Central Bank will also be needed. The consent of the eurozone states will also be necessary.
Bulgaria should also meet the Maastricht criteria for membership in the euro area, including the low inflation condition. The document defines the methods of converting prices, bank deposits and interest, as well as exchanging cash at banks. There are legislative changes that need to be introduced in connection with joining the euro area.
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