The Finance Minister of Bulgaria Plamen Oresharski said on Wednesday that joining the euro zone is not a priority and that Bulgaria will adopt the single currency when it meets the entry criteria, comments Reuters.
Bulgaria who joined the EU on 1st of January hopes to enter the ERM-2 - a two-year waiting room for the euro hopefuls - by June but has been flexible about euro zone entry, saying it could happen in 2010 or one, two years later. „The euro zone entry is not a priority. We will join when we fulfil all the criteria. We ourselves would not want to join before that,” Oresharski told reporters. „My priority is to maintain the smooth functioning of the currency board regime until we enter the euro zone,” he said.
The Black Sea country pegged its lev to euro in 1997 and plans to keep its currency board regime and the current peg unchanged until entering the euro zone - possibly in 2010, 2011 or 2012. Some analysts believe that the lev is overvalued and that its depreciation could help the country become more competitive but both the Socialist-led government and the central bank argue that the current peg is relevant and should be kept. (international.ibox.bg)