Eurozone Entry Delay Incurs High Costs, Warns Head of Bulgaria's National Bank

Finance | February 26, 2024, Monday // 16:19|  views

Speaking at a briefing following a meeting with Croatian Central Bank Governor Boris Vujcic, Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) Governor Dimitar Radev highlighted the significant costs associated with delaying entry into the eurozone.

Radev emphasized the importance of political will in the process of joining the Eurozone, noting Bulgaria and Croatia's joint efforts towards membership since 2018. While Croatia successfully adopted the euro on January 1, 2023, Bulgaria continues to navigate the path towards eurozone accession.

Addressing the benefits of euro adoption, Vujcic pointed out that Croatia experienced a reduction in foreign debt costs, an increase in credit rating, and lowered loan interest rates after joining the Eurozone. He stressed that contrary to concerns, the adoption of the euro did not lead to a significant increase in prices, with household incomes outpacing inflation.

Regarding Bulgaria's preparation, Radev announced that necessary infrastructure for currency exchange, including armored cars and cash centers, is on schedule. He assured that all preparations are proceeding smoothly, with the law on euro adoption currently being finalized in coordination with the European Commission and the European Central Bank.

Finance Minister Asen Vassilev provided further insight during a National Assembly meeting, indicating Bulgaria's progress in meeting eurozone entry criteria. With three out of four criteria already fulfilled, Vassilev expressed confidence that inflation targets will also be met by 2024, paving the way for Bulgaria to become the 21st member of the Eurozone by 2025.

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Tags: Eurozone, Bulgaria, Croatia, Radev


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