Bulgaria's Economy in Upswing, US, EU Must Learn from Us - Finance Minister

Finance | August 16, 2011, Tuesday // 10:41|  views

Bulgaria's Finance Minister Simeon Djankov says Bulgaria will wait out the euro zone debt crisis before joining. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's Cabinet is not drafting new anti-crisis measures because the Bulgarian economy is in an upswing, according to Finance Minister Simeon Djankov.

"There is no risk of rising unemployment in Bulgaria. There is no risk for the deposits. Actually, the deposits in the Bulgarian banks are going up. More and more foreigners are putting their money into our banks, especially people from Greece and Romania, but not only," Djankov declared on Nova TV Tuesday morning.

He stressed that the tax burden in Bulgaria remains the lowest in the EU, and that Bulgaria stands out in terms of its macroeconomic stability.

"We managed to keep the situation under control, the others didn't. Three months ago I was in Washington, DC, and told them about our project for a Finance Stability Pact. I have now received a number of invitations to go back there and tell them more," the Finance Minister said referring to his brainchild, a fiscal pact limiting the budget deficit by law that is expected to be enshrined in the Bulgarian Constitution. Some of the provisions of Djankov's Pact have already been incorporated into Bulgaria's budget legislation.

"This model with a pact for the financial stability is nothing new. We are just one of the countries – together with Germany and Finland – that have started to implement it. The Americans are doing worse than us in terms of fiscal policies. They definitely need to learn from us," the Bulgarian Finance Minister stated.

He further declared that while back in 2009 Bulgaria was ready to apply to join the euro zone but it was told to wait, Bulgaria's fiscal situation is now better than that in the euro zone, and Bulgaria will be waiting out to put its euro bid on the table until the situation stabilizes.

"We want to join the euro zone but we have conditions about the common fiscal policies. We are very active, that is why we joined the Euro-Plus-Pact," Djankov explained.

He slammed the fears of a number of global economists warning that the present crisis on the global markets could worsen by saying that those same economists denied the existence of the crisis when it first appeared.

Djankov did agree that the USA has a serious problem with its debt but he believes that much of the media hype on this topic is exaggerated simply because of the summer season that has fewer newsworthy developments.

The Bulgarian Finance Minister expressed concern about France's situation not because France has a debt problem but because French banks have a large number of Greek bonds, and this could affect negatively the French banking system and the French economy.

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Tags: Simeon Djankov, finance minister, euro zone, Eurozone, debt crisis, debt crises, banking system, banking systems, deposits, greece, Romania, USA, France, Greek debt, Financial Stability Pact


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