Seven years after entering Lithuania, the European Commission on Wednesday estimated 1Verse June, that Croatia fulfilled the conditions for the adoption of the single currency in 1Verse January 2023, making it the 20th member of the Eurozone. The official decision will be made in early July by EU finance ministers, but the door is now wide open. No opposition is expected, while the former Yugoslav Republic of four million people meets all technical criteria. The European Central Bank (ECB) also issued a positive opinion on Wednesday.
“I expect that the procedures will go well and that Croatia will be able to join the eurozone early next year.”Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis, who will be in Zagreb on Thursday, said.
Croatia has expressed its desire to adopt the single currency once it joined the European Union in 2013. It is now Willing to join the eurozone on 1Verse January. This will boost Croatia’s economy, and benefit its citizens, businesses and society at large.”Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement. This is a will “Also strengthening the euro”She said.
The Mediterranean country has an important tourism sector. Per capita wealth is just over half the average level in the European Union, such as Poland and the Baltic states. The unemployment rate was 6.1% in April, in line with the European average.
This green light comes as the euro has just celebrated its 20th anniversary as a credit currency. in 1Verse In January 2002, millions of Europeans in 12 countries gave up the lira, the franc, the German mark, and the drachma for euro coins and banknotes. They have since been joined by seven other countries: Slovenia in 2007, Cyprus and Malta in 2008, Slovakia (2009), Estonia (2011), Latvia (2014), and finally, Lithuania in 2015. The euro population now stands at 345 million. .
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The single currency is a symbol of European unity and sovereignty. All EU countries are theoretically obligated to join once they meet conditions, but no timeline has been set. The only exception is that Denmark negotiated an exemption after a referendum in 2000 in which Danes rejected the euro.
The introduction of a new currency has raised concerns in many countries. This is also the case in Croatia, where only 30% of the population considers their country ready for the euro, according to a study conducted in March and April. About 87% of the population believes that this will lead to an increase in prices. The Croatian economy, however, is ready for the new currency, according to criteria vetted by the Commission and the European Central Bank.
In April, the 12-month harmonized inflation rate, at 4.7%, was below the threshold set at 4.9%. Sound financial. The public deficit was 2.9% of GDP last year, just under 3%. Debt, at 80% of GDP, certainly crosses the 60% threshold, but this is the case for most EU countries, and its trajectory is clearly to the downside. The country’s long-term interest rates are also within the established limits.
Finally, the country joined the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM II) in July 2020 and remained there without difficulty. This mechanism sets a change limit of 15% around the trajectory of the kuna, the Croatian currency, currently set at 7.5345 per euro. The final exchange rate will be determined in July.
In its report published on Wednesday, the Commission considered that Bulgaria, which hopes to adopt the euro in 2024, does not meet the conditions yet. Five other countries in the single currency waiting room (Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, Sweden) are also in this situation, but they have no plans to join in the very short term.