June 20. 2024. 2:27

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Bulgaria may join Eurozone in 2025

Bulgaria may join the Eurozone on 1 January 2025, European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said in Sofia on Thursday, postponing Bulgaria’s initial plan to join the group in 2024.

Three years ago, Bulgaria set the goal of joining the Eurozone on 1 January 2024, but due to a lack of political will of the previous parliament and high inflation, Finance Minister Rositsa Velkova suggested the new goal should be mid-2024.

However, this new goal is considered unrealistic by Dombrovskis, who cites inflation as the main obstacle despite Bulgaria’s attempts to tame energy prices.

“This is the first way to tame inflation. Secondly, these are the measures to support the economy. Fiscal policy must be stable. Therefore the support measures must be temporary and targeted,” Dombrovskis said.

“The important thing is not to get sidetracked by this delay,” said Dombrovskis, adding that postponing membership should not be of concern.

“Some countries have waited much longer – like Latvia and Lithuania, for example. They spent eight to nine years in this waiting room. I think a reasonable waiting time for Bulgaria will be shorter,” Dombrovskis said about countries waiting to adopt the euro currency.

For Bulgaria to stay on track in joining the group and not violate the Maastricht criteria by entering an excess deficit, caretaker Prime Minister Gulab Donev announced that his government would propose a budget for 2023 with a 3% deficit.

(Krassen Nikolov | EURACTIV.bg)