“Over the past 20 years, the euro has asserted itself as the world’s second most used currency. The attempt to bring together so diverse economies under a single monetary mechanism is undoubtedly a challenge, but it is evident that the euro has successfully passed the enormous shock from the financial crisis in 2008-2009 and guarantees the well-being of European citizens,” Bulgarian Minister of Finance Vladislav Goranov said in the framework of the Citizens' Dialogue on “Bulgaria on the Road to the Euro” organized by the European Commission in Bulgaria. The event was also attended by European Commission Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue Valdis Dombrovskis and MEP Eva Maydell.
Minister Goranov added that a much more serious infrastructure had been built in the single monetary union after the crisis and recalled that in continuation of that process a key document to reduce risks in the banking system had been adopted during the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU. He pointed out that intensive debates were currently taking place on the steps towards the next element – risk sharing. “I am a firm optimist that the euro is a guarantee of the irreversibility of the European integration process,” he said. According to him, it is by no chance that today there is talk of the euro in Bulgaria because it is one of the quite meaningful objectives of Bulgaria’s future integration, accepted by consensus by most political forces as well as by the society. “I will not save my satisfaction that after so many years we have obtained clear commitment as to what we need to do for the Bulgarian lev to enter ERM II,” he stressed
“The bank asset quality review and the stress tests are part of a process clearly set out between Bulgarian banks and the ECB. The collection of information started in the autumn of last year and now all activities are on track, so we can expect the assessments to be ready by June,” the Minister explained. He recalled that the above was a precondition for the ECB to state whether it was ready to establish close cooperation with the BNB on banking supervision and Bulgaria to establish close cooperation with the ECB in the Banking Union. The Minister noted that according to the talks of July 2018, Bulgaria’s accession to ERM II was linked simultaneously to establishing close cooperation with the ECB and having sufficient support from our partners in the euro area.
With regard to the speculation about price shock as a result of the currency change, according to the Finance Minister experience showed that those processes were manageable as well as that there were many mechanisms, most of which market-based, that could minimise such risks. “The examples of the most recent member states of the euro area show that even if there are such price changes, they are more attributable to the accelerated income convergence rates. If we can expect such processes, they would not be inflationary processes or speculation but would form a normal part of the economic process,” explained Vladislav Goranov.
After the end of the forum, Commissioner Dombrovskis had a meeting with Minister Goranov and his team at the Ministry of Finance. During the meeting they discussed the progress of the Action Plan for Bulgaria’s Accession to ERM II.