Bulgaria commits to joining euro despite delay

Associated Press

Sofia, Bulgaria – Bulgaria’s prime minister said Friday that his country will adopt the euro despite a brief delay in its accession process, and added that this required “absolute consensus” in the country.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov arrives for an EU summit at the European Council building in Brussels, Friday, Feb. 21, 2020.

Boyko Borissov’s center-right government had said earlier that Bulgaria wants to enter the two-year process that leads to joining the euro, called ERM II, this April. Its hope is that a swift entry into the eurozone would guarantee Bulgaria’s deeper integration in the EU.

There are widespread fears among Bulgarians that during the preparatory period the exchange rate of the local currency, the lev, against the euro could be revised and their savings may be hit.

Speaking on national TV from Brussels, where he was attending an EU summit, Borissov said that plans to join the ERM II have been delayed by three months to July.

“We are heading to the eurozone waiting room only at this exchange rate and only if there is absolute consensus in the country,” Borissov said.

Bulgaria has since 1997 kept a stable exchange rate between its currency, the lev, and the euro.