Bulgaria hopes for a maximum 6-month Eurozone delay
Bulgaria now aims to enter the Eurozone from 1 July 2024, half a year later than the initially set date, said Finance Minister Rositsa Velkova, noting that her country could reduce its inflation to the level needed to enter the group.
Bulgaria had abandoned its initial goal of joining the Eurozone on 1 January 2024 as parliament failed to pass the necessary laws before it was dissolved, the Bulgarian government announced Friday. Bulgarians will vote in the fifth general election in the last two years оn 2 April.
“If maximum efforts are made, Bulgaria could join the Eurozone on 1 July 2024,” said Finance Minister Rositsa Velkova, referring to reducing inflation to levels needed to enter the group.
“The talks we had with the European Commission are that if the whole process goes smoothly, there will be no legislative and regulatory obstacles for Bulgaria to join the Eurozone in July,” said Velkova.
The caretaker government’s decision to join the Eurozone was criticised by the second biggest party in the country – We Continue the Change.
“There is a decision of the National Assembly which clearly says that the caretaker government must do everything possible so that Bulgaria can enter the Eurozone on 1 January 2024. We think that this can still happen, there is time to take all the preparatory steps for this to happen,” Andrey Gyurov from We Continue the Change told Bulgarian National Radio.
Bulgaria is among the countries with the best indicators in Europe in terms of low public debt and budget deficit, Gyurov added.
“We managed to show that a broad social program can be implemented in Bulgaria, businesses and citizens can be supported, and at the same time, the budget deficit can be below 3%”, commented Gyurov.
(Krassen Nikolov | EURACTIV.bg)