Bulgaria Not Ready to Join 'Eurozone Waiting Room' Anymore - Former FinMin Djankov

Opinions | February 3, 2015, Tuesday // 10:03|  views

Simeon Djankov. Photo by BGNES

It will take three or four year for Bulgaria to return to the progress it had on the path to Eurozone accession in 2012, Simeon Djankov, the country's Finance Minister at the time, has said.

Djankov, who works at a Russian university, is in Bulgaria for an event marking the translation of his book Inside the Euro Crisis, first written in English, into Bulgarian. The book is dedicated to the situation in the Eurozone, which has been in turmoil for a few years, an the impact of a prospective Bulgarian membership.

The former minister's position is in line with his words in July 2014, when he said Bulgaria was lagging behind after having been a "champion" for a few years' time.

His words also referred to current Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov's announcement of last month that Sofia would renew negotiations to enter the single currency area.

Commenting on the future ahead of the euro, Djankov opined that it could not disappear now that it has a number of mechanisms to provide for its stability.

"There was such [a prospect] when parts of the financial system in Greece, Spain and Portugal went bankrupt. The euro is stable... And these concerns we have been hearing in the last few weeks, that SYRIZA is coming to power and the euro is in danger - this is not true. If three or four years ago SYRIZA had won and Greece had exited the [Eurozone], there would have been consequences. Now everybody is looking at Greece... and European leaders will be even tougher on [SYRIZA] in order not to allow Spain and Portugal to follow its example," he added.

Asked about his assessment of the situation in Russia, which is suffering from the repercussions of sanctions imposed over Ukraine, low oil prices and a devaluation of the rouble, he said: "[Russia] was already heading there... As soon as petrol prices fell, it was evident that there is no long-term economic policy in Russia. And both people and businesses are suffering."

Djankov also commented on his resignation in the previous government of PM Boyko Borisov, which had come three days before the cabinet stepped down. He had been among the least popular ministers in that cabinet due to his support for austerity measures and his determination to freeze pensions and salaries.

In the interview, Djankov admitted he had made a lot of mistakes in putting his ideas forward to most groups in society.

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Tags: Bulgaria, Simeon Djankov, Vladislav Goranov, euro, Eurozone, Syriza, greece, Spain, Portugal


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