Bulgaria Joins Euro Waiting Room

Frankfurt/Sofia, July 10 (BTA) - The European Central Bank said on Friday that the Bulgarian lev has been included in the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM II) by mutual agreement between the finance ministers of the euro area Member States of the European Union, the President of the European Central Bank, and the finance ministers and central bank governors of Denmark and Bulgaria. The Commission has been involved and the Economic and Financial Committee has been consulted.

The central rate of the Bulgarian lev is set at 1 euro = 1.95583 leva. The standard fluctuation band of plus or minus 15 percent will be observed around the central rate of the lev.

Bulgaria is joining the exchange rate mechanism with its existing currency board arrangement in place, as a unilateral commitment, thus placing no additional obligations on the ECB, according to the press release.

The compulsory intervention points in the exchange rate mechanism will be communicated by the ECB and the Bulgarian National Bank in time for the opening of foreign exchange markets on 13 July.

At a news briefing at the Council of Ministers, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said that President Rumen Radev and he should have been sitting together on the day when Bulgaria joined the euro's waiting room.

Borissov went outside the Council of Ministers and told participants in an anti- and a pro-government protest that Bulgaria should be celebrating together because it is already among developed countries. Borissov said that people should be chanting 'unity' because it is an important day for Bulgaria. "Only united we can go ahead," said Borissov and urged people not to give in to provocations. RY/PP

Source: Sofia/Frankfurt