The “poorer” neighbors confirm their commitment to join

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Bulgaria will adopt the euro on January 1, 2024, as decided by the previous government, confirmed the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Assen Vassilev, and the Minister of Innovation, Daniel Lorer, Novinite reports.

The plan for joining the euro area remains the same as the one announced by the National Bank of Bulgaria and the Ministry of Finance in June 2021. It allows the adoption of the euro immediately, without a transition period.

“There are two or three deadlines in this plan, but nothing has changed since June 30, 2021. All citizens, not just parliamentarians, have almost a year to get acquainted with the plan,” Asen Vassilev was quoted as saying by AGERPRES.

“In general, our political message is that January 1, 2024 is supported by everyone, the technical side is working with the Ministry of Finance and all the factors involved,” said Daniel Lorer, who urged politicians to hurry to adopt the final plan, after preparing the necessary analysis.

With a gross domestic product per capita at half the EU average, Bulgaria hopes that joining the euro will speed up the gap that separates it from the rich Western countries.

With one of the lowest debts in the EU, Bulgaria meets the nominal criteria for joining the single currency, with the exception of inflation, which is rising as a result of the booming energy prices.

But in order to achieve its goal of joining the eurozone, Bulgaria needs to convince the rest of the Member States that it is serious about fighting corruption and also to convince Bulgarians that switching to the euro will not lead to higher prices.

The last enlargement of the eurozone dates back to 2015, when Lithuania became the 19th member state of the monetary bloc. Although all EU member states except Denmark are required to join the eurozone, few countries are making serious efforts to join the single zone.