The new prime minister of Bulgaria confirmed he is “fully committed” to adopting the euro on 2024.
On January 6, Kiril Petkov, Bulgaria’s Prime Minister, confirmed to Bloomberg that he plans to adopt the European Union currency on January 1, 2024.
Among the newest EU members, Croatia plans to join the eurozone in 2023. But Romania, which was originally supposed to adopt the new currency in 2014, postponed the deadline to 2019, then to 2024. And since December, Romania has been aiming at a 2029 target.
“We’re fully committed to” adopting the euro by 2024, Petkov said in the video interview.
“I have business background and I understand there is no transaction cost, especially when you have an export business. […] We understand the economic benefit of it“, added the new prime minister, 41, who studied at Harvard. “There is no systemic issue that creates a risk for Bulgaria. We already begged for it for so many years.”
To be able to join the eurozone, Bulgaria, EU’s poorest member, needs to show proof of financial stability like a limited budget deficit, contained inflation rates or low volatility in interest rates.
Last year, Finance Minister Assen Vassilev, Petkov’s friend whom he met at Harvard, doubted Bulgaria’s ability to be prepared for the introduction of the euro in 2024.
Petkov ended months of political crisis in Bulgaria
“It cannot be done out of the blue” clarified Petkov. “We need to communicate early. […] If we push the population, there is a risk of political turmoil“.
In fact, Kiril Petkov was elected as prime minister in December after the third legislative election of the year in November. His four-party coalition allowed to end months of political crisis, which saw two interim administrations after a decade-long run of Boïko Borissov who accumulated corruption scandals while in power.
Bulgaria is often considered the most-corrupt country in the European Union, and Petkov promised to clean public life from it.
Kiril Petkov, who grew up in Canada and has less than a year of political activity, pledged to deepen Bulgaria’s relations with the EU and NATO.
The prime minister also said he is working to join the Schengen area within 6 months. However, Bulgaria still vetoes the adhesion of their neighbor, North Macedonia, to join the European Union because of historical disputes.