Croatia ready to adopt the euro in 2023

>> The euro is jumping, the European Central Bank can end negative interest rates in the third quarter

The Croatian National Bank in Zagreb on February 8.

Photo: AFP/VNA/CVN

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 4 million people meets all technical criteria. The European Central Bank (ECB) also issued on Wednesday 1Verse June positive opinion.

“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 is due to be in Zagreb on Thursday 2 June, said.

Croatia has expressed its desire to adopt the single currency once it joined the European Union in 2013. It is now Ready 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. This is a will “Also strengthening the euro”She said.

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said he is confident of his country’s integration into the Euro Club at the beginning of 2023. On the same date, We also want to enter the Schengen area. “Freedom of movement in Europe,” he said at a press conference in Berlin.

The Mediterranean country has an important tourism sector. The standard of living there is equivalent to that of Poland and the Baltic states, where wealth creation (GDP per capita) is slightly more than half the EU average. The unemployment rate was 6.1% in April.

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 liras, francs, German marks and drachmas 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 eurozone already has 345 million inhabitants, in Waiting for Croatia.

european union symbol

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 European Commission estimated 1Verse June that Croatia fulfilled the conditions for the adoption of the single currency.

Photo: AFP/VNA/CVN

The introduction of a new currency has raised concerns in Croatia, where only 30% of the population considers the country ready for the euro, according to a survey conducted in March and April. About 87% of the population believes that this will lead to an increase in prices.

“We know that many citizens are concerned about price increases resulting from the switch to the euro, especially in these times of high inflation. That is why it is essential that the Croatian authorities take measures to reduce the risks associated with price rounding. increasing during their transformation.Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said.

The Croatian economy is ready anyway, according to criteria vetted by the Commission and the European Central Bank. In April, the 12-month coordinated inflation rate, at 4.7%, was below the fixed threshold of 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 1Verse In June, 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.


AFP/VNA/CVN

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