site.btaFinance Minister Vassilev: Bulgaria Works Very Actively with Greece towards Entry in Schengen, Euro Area
Interviewed by BTA after the opening of the Bulgarian Pavilion at the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) on Saturday, Finance Minister Assen Vassilev said: "We are working very actively with Greece on the two top priorities: Bulgaria's entry in Schengen, which will make the movement of goods and people much easier and business will be much facilitated, and Bulgaria's entry in the euro area."
"Greece's support is very strong for both processes. We have been working very well with our Greek counterparts to improve data exchange between the two revenue agencies at invoice level. The aim is to ensure that there is traceability and no tax evasion on both sides," Vassilev said.
The next two months will see several key meetings related to the process of Bulgaria's entry in the euro area.
"The key conditions are being met - Bulgaria has no problems with its budget deficit and its debt. As to inflation, we are still off target, but the gap between Bulgaria and the EU is starting to narrow, so I expect a smooth process that will continue actively," Vassilev added.
Questioned about his impressions of the Bulgarian participants in TIF, Vassilev said he saw the really modern face of Bulgaria, represented by the IT industry, drones, INSAIT (the Institute for Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence and Technology), machinery, Milara electric trucks and the more innovative segment of the food sector, among others.
Asked how the Bulgarian and Greek Finance Ministries work together, Vassilev said he had known Finance and Economy Minister Konstantinos Hatzidakis since the time when he was energy minister. Bulgarian-Greek cooperation has been at an extremely high level since 2022, Vassilev added. "We have managed to connect and to upgrade the connectivity of the two energy systems. The launch of the commercial operation of the Greece-Bulgaria interconnector has improved natural gas connectivity," he said, adding that the two sides are discussing projects to upgrade the connectivity for oil products. "The next step is to upgrade the transport connectivity between Bulgaria and Greece, and we are not just talking about roads, but about a rail link that will go on to both Romania and to Europe."
Vassilev, Bulgarian Economy and Industry Minister Bogdan Bogdanov and Hatzidakis opened the Bulgarian Pavilion on Saturday. Bulgaria is the Honored Country at TIF's 87th edition.