Reuters: Bulgaria likely to delay entry into euro zone 'waiting room'21 February 2020 | 13:09 | FOCUS News Agency
Dombrovskis told national BNR radio he had been assured by Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov that the Balkan country was working towards the euro adoption. However, he said the country was likely to postpone its target to join ERM-2 in April by a few months.
Earlier this week Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said his government would “slow the tempo” of progression towards the euro zone’s “waiting room” amid fears that the preparatory steps could endanger the lev’s long-standing fixed exchange rate against the euro.
The government has pledged to keep the current peg to the euro until it adopts the common currency. But many people are concerned the value of their savings may be hit and Borissov said he would need more time to convince everyone that euro adoption would be beneficial to the country, an EU member since 2007.
“I want a national consensus, I want all people to understand that euro zone entry is for the good of the country,” Borissov reiterated on Thursday in Brussels.
Borissov said adopting the euro would push borrowing costs down, put Bulgaria at the heart of the European Union and enhance the stability of the country’s banking system.
Bulgaria meets the nominal criteria to adopt the single currency, with healthy public finances and low debt, but it is also one of Europe’s poorest and most corrupt countries.
Sofia has made wide-ranging commitments to secure banking union and ERM-2 membership, including strengthening its banking sector and its anti-money laundering systems.
A comprehensive assessment at six Bulgarian lenders by the European Central Bank last year found capital shortfalls at two locally owned banks, but both First Investment Bank and Investbank have since announced plans to strengthen their capital buffers.
Kristalina Georgieva, the head of the International Monetary Fund said last month Bulgaria’s plans to adopt the euro currency in 2023 were fully foreseeable.
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