Eurozone Bound: Bulgaria Nears Inflation Goal, Finance Ministry Confirms

Finance | May 30, 2024, Thursday // 13:02|  views

The Bulgarian Ministry of Finance projects that Bulgaria will satisfy the inflation criterion by the year's end, as per the ministry's models. Deputy Minister of Finance Metodi Metodiev highlighted this during the "Introduction of the Euro - Risks and Challenges: The Experience of Croatia" conference. Although the latest inflation figures reflect a declining trend, the reduction thus far remains insufficient. Metodiev affirmed that once Bulgaria fulfills all nominal criteria for eurozone membership, it can request an extraordinary convergence report, with inflation being the sole unmet criterion presently.

Metodiev also indicated that the National Assembly could deliberate and vote on the Law on the Introduction of the Euro by the summer's end, given the current preparatory state. While this legislation is domestically formulated and not subject to European Commission evaluation in regular convergence reports, the law concerning the Bulgarian National Bank forms a part of this process, with Metodiev expressing confidence in a positive assessment of Bulgaria's legislative compliance.

The conference, organized jointly by the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) and the Bulgarian-Croatian Business Club, alongside collaboration with the Bulgarian Office for Commercial and Economic Affairs in Zagreb, featured discussions emphasizing Bulgaria's disciplined approach to eurozone accession. Tsvetan Simeonov, Chairman of the BCCI, stressed Bulgaria's anticipated benefits from Eurozone membership, drawing on the country's experience with the currency board.

Addressing potential concerns about inflation, Simeonov referenced BCCI analyses indicating successful euro adoption by most countries without significant inflation spikes. Nikolay Pavlov, Deputy Minister of Economy and Industry, underscored consumer rights protection in the draft Law on Euro Introduction, outlining mandatory provisions during the transitional period, including dual price indication and price check campaigns.

Yordanka Chobanova, head of the EC representation in Bulgaria, emphasized the importance of a comprehensive communication strategy to counter disinformation campaigns against the euro. Chobanova acknowledged societal apprehensions, stressing the need for understanding and addressing underlying concerns through facts and data. She emphasized the necessity of a well-structured action plan to navigate the challenges surrounding Eurozone accession.

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Tags: Bulgaria, inflation, euro, Eurozone

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