Bulgarian Finance Minister Plamen Oresharski has taken a stance against the immediate introduction of the euro, saying this would have no significant economic impact, local press reported Thursday.
Oresharski’s remarks came in response to International Monetary Fund calls on central and eastern European countries to consider scrapping their currencies in favor of the euro even without formally joining the euro zone.
In a confidential IMF report, which leaked earlier in the week, the fund said the eurozone could relax its entry rules so countries could join as quasi-members, without European Central Bank board seats.
“Give me just one reason for concluding a new agreement with the IMF at this stage,” Oresharski said, adding that Bulgaria has been considering the adoption of the euro and its impact on the economy for more than 10 years.
“We will do that if we have to, I can see no drama here,” he added. “Bulgaria’s entry into the euro zone will have no dramatic consequences,” the minister said.
He pointed out that Bulgaria’s economy has been adjusted to a fixed currency rate in 1997-2000 at times of cataclysms, fluctuations and problems.
Bulgaria’s entry in the euro zone, initially scheduled for 2010, has been set back for some time around 2012. Experts say it is conditional on continued fiscal prudence and lower inflation.
In fact, Bulgaria has yet to join the Exchange Rate Mechanism, the “waiting room” for euro membership, amid concerns about its inflation rates and external trade imbalances. Stricter application of membership criteria has also been a factor in the delay. (Xinhua)