(16 April 2020) – COVID-19 packages for the eurozone countries have removed the hesitations of Bulgaria’s government.
Bulgaria is the country closest to joining the euro. But in February, Prime Minister Borissov hesitated about moving forward. He said that Bulgaria would delay its plans to join the ERM2 Exchange Rate Mechanism, also known as the eurozone’s 2-year obligatory “waiting room”, until July.
Now Borissov says this was a mistake. He says that, in February, he believed that public opinion was not ready. But after seeing how generous the Covid-19 packages are for the eurozone countries, those hesitations have disappeared.
On Wednesday (15 April) Bulgaria’s First Investment Bank (Fibank) revamped a €100 million capital-raising plan, in a crucial step for Bulgaria to join the Eurozone. Unlike previous accessions to the eurozone, Bulgaria is obligated to join the EU’s Banking Union simultaneously with its accession to ERM2. The last obstacle was the re-capitalization of Fibank, but now the issue is being resolved as a matter of priority.
Public opinion in Bulgaria is still divided on the euro issue, and many believe that prices will skyrocket once the EU currency is adopted. (EurActiv)