site.btaSofia Forum Discusses Eurozone Advantages, Challenges for Bulgarian Business
Bulgaria is on the final stretch and the hardest part for joining the eurozone is over, Iliya Lingorski, member of the Governing Council of the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) at the opening of a discussion forum on the advantages and challenges of the eurozone for Bulgarian businesses in the process of Bulgaria adopting the single currency, organised by the Union for Private Economic Enterprise.
The euro is one of the brightest symbols of European identity and belonging. It was introduced on 1 January 1999, initially in an electronic form used for banking transactions, and since 1 January 2002 in the form of banknotes and coins representing the national currencies of 12 countries. In the following years, including as a consequence of the enlargement of the European Union, eight more countries successively joined the euro area - Slovenia, Cyprus, Malta, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and most recently Croatia - from 1 January 2023, Lingorski recalled.
Recently, events with broad participation have been organised frequently to discuss the issues related to the introduction of the euro, in which representatives of the National Association of Municipalities actively participate. These events are an important part of the objective, competent and professional discussion of all the questions related to the introduction of the euro that are of concern for the public. The coordination council for Bulgaria's preparations for euro area membership has adopted a communication strategy for information and awareness about Bulgaria's accession to the euro area, published on the websites of the Ministry of Finance and the BNB. The activities foreseen in the strategy are to be implemented and municipalities and regions are part of the target groups subject to the envisaged communication events.
In order to raise awareness about the euro, information materials with questions and answers related to the adoption of the common European currency have already been published on the websites of the Ministry of Finance and the BNB, Lingorski explained.
Bulgaria should continue to prepare for the euro area, but to take into account expertly all the benefits and disadvantages of adopting the common European currency, said Socialist MP Rumen Gechev during the discussion.
At the moment Bulgaria is not ready to join the eurozone not only because of high inflation. Many euro area countries are far from the inflation criterion, he pointed out. The advantages of the euro area are clear, since many EU countries are in it, they had a reason to join, Gechev said, adding that it must be seen why there are countries that do not want to adopt the euro.
Countries with a common currency should be similar in terms of development, fiscal and monetary parameters, on which there are differences with Bulgaria, the Socialist MP further pointed out. There is no positive sign that in the coming years the EU countries will have a harmonised fiscal policy and this is a serious problem for the euro area, he added.
In Gechev's words, there is no national analysis in Bulgaria with the participation of economists and experts on the benefits and drawbacks of this country joining the euro area.