It is still early for Bulgaria to enter Eurozone – ECB chief economist

Bulgaria still has to implement more reforms and achieve higher social and economic stability before it applies for Eurozone membership, ECB chief economist Peter Praet declared in a short interview for local BNT TV. Praet added that nominal criteria for Eurozone accession, which Bulgaria complies with, should be respected but they are not sufficient. The main question is the country’s stability in case of shock and crisis situations, he said. Low incomes in Bulgaria compared to the Eurozone members is one of the factors that is seen as problematic. We think that Praet’s statement confirms our expectations that EU authorities will not consider Bulgaria’s euro adoption as realistic at least for several years despite the Bulgarian government’s declarations that it will lobby actively for the country’s accession in the ERM-II.

Sergey Guriev, chief economist of EBRD, commented that Bulgaria is practically member of the Eurozone due to its currency board but it is important to maintain stability and consensus in the country, BNT TV reported. He added that there are good examples of EU member countries, such as Poland and Sweden, which are outside the Eurozone and cope well in that way.

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