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Embracing the Euro: Bulgaria Begins Negotiations with EU Commission for Parallel Currency Integration


Bulgaria Starts Talks With EU Commission to Adopt Euro as Parallel Currency.

The government of Bulgaria is looking forward to introducing the euro as a parallel payment currency to the lev in early 2024.

The decision has been confirmed by the Finance Minister Asen Vasilev.

Authorities in this Balkan country are holding talks with the European Central Bank as well as the European Commission in order to permit people to trade in euros, an option that at present is available only to companies, according to the Finance Minister.

Vasliev also stressed that the changes may also permit companies to pay salaries in euro.

 “We as people can’t make deals in euros, nor can we receive our salaries in euros — we know that there are countries like Montenegro, which allow those deals on a voluntary basis,” Vassilev emphasized. The country is yet to complete talks with the European Union, and “at the moment, we have no confirmation that such action is possible at all,” he pointed out.

If permitted, the new changes for the single currency won’t be introduced this year, the Minister said, while emphasizing that Bulgaria has not given up on its plans to enter the single currency area and it’s getting closer to meeting inflation criteria.

Bulgaria will be able to allow its citizens to choose to deal in euros or levs. Such a mechanism is already implemented by Montenegro and Kosovo, which both use the euro without being a member of the EU and the eurozone.

 “We know that there are countries such as Montenegro, which actually allows a voluntary principle for these transactions to be carried out. If two citizens want and can carry out transactions in euros, they should be allowed to do so without the state restricting them,” he noted.

The Minister stressed that transactions between citizens and final sales in euros at present are carried out only in levs.

At present, businesses in this Balkan country are subject to €750 million loss per year in fees for currency conversion as well as transfer to banks in the Eurozone. Such an amount of money for the Balkan country accounts for 0.4 per cent of the state’s GDP.

Previously, authorities in Bulgaria announced that the country is attempting to adopt the euro currency on January 1, 2025.

The Minister back then stressed that the country has introduced several measures while adding that it is making constant progress when it comes to entering the Eurozone.

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