Bulgaria wants Euro

Bulgaria is doing everything it could to join the eurozone, considered a kind of a Noah’s Ark in the times of financial crisis, Monday.

On Sunday Bulgarian PM Sergei Stanishev told his EU colleagues that Bulgaria wants to join ERM II – a ‘walk-in’ to the eurozone. According to him the country meets four out of the five Maastricht treaty criteria for euro entry.

The one criteria Bulgaria doesn’t meet is inflation rates, where , according to PM Stanishev, the country is making major progress. Some experts however have commented that as Bulgaria’s national currency, the Lev, is pegged to the Euro the country’s economic growth and increase of incomes is registered as inflation.

Adopting the Euro is a much-touted remedy for the financial crisis in the East European member-states, the Economist wrote before the meeting. According to the weekly it might make sense for the four countries with exchange rates pegged to the euro: the Baltic trio of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, plus Bulgaria, to adopt the common European currency.

None of these countries will meet the Maastricht treaty’s criteria for euro entry any time soon. But they are tiny (the Baltics have a population of barely 7m), so letting them adopt the euro ought not to set an unwelcome precedent for others nor should it damage confidence in the single currency, the Economist writes.

Bulgaria should have filed a request to join ERM II, says Vladimir Karolev, economic expert in NDSV, a member of Bulgaria’s ruling three way coalition, told Focus News. According to him Bulgaria must ask for reduction of the inflation criteria together with outside experts who think alike.

Bulgaria will also try to enter the eurozone with the same exchange rate between the Lev and the Euro as it is nowadays ( 1.95583 to one). This, he says, will send a positive signal to investors.

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