January 12 2021

Finance Minister Expects Bulgaria to Join Eurozone in 2024

Source: Bulgarian News Agency

January 12 (BTA) - "We expect Bulgaria to join the eurozone in 2024. The main tasks for the Bulgarian government on the road to achieving this goal are related to the implementation of commitments under the road map after the entry of the Bulgarian lev into ERM II in July 2020," said Tuesday Finance Minster Kiril Ananiev during an annual Central and Eastern European Forum, organized by Euromoney.

For the first time in its 26-year history the forum is held online. The focus is on the financial and economic challenges to the countries in the region. Participating are representatives of the European Commission, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank, investment intermediaries, banks, and the finance ministers of Poland and the Republic of North Macedonia.

Minister Ananiev said that a national plan for the introduction of the euro is being drawn up to set out the steps which the Bulgarian authorities and business should take in order to introduce successfully the single European currency. He said that the fulfillment of the nominal convergence criteria (Maastricht criteria) and taking steps to address the imbalances, established in the convergence reports of the European Central Bank and the European Commission in 2020, are too an important aspect of the preparations for the euro.

"We are working intensively to comply with the time frame and the minimum required stay in ERM II of two years. Currently there are no serious risks of non-implementation of Bulgaria's commitments," he said.

Ananiev said: "I would like to underscore that the COVID-19 pandemic is a very serious shock for the world and the European economy, including the Bulgarian economy, with very heavy social and economic effects but I believe that it won–Ęt be a factor in extending Bulgaria's stay in ERM II."

Bulgaria will maintain fiscal sustainability in the mid- and long-term in order to continue to be an international partner and a country which for over 20 years has observed the principles of disciplined and sensible management of public finances, said the Bulgarian Finance Minister. NV/PP