Bulgaria's aspirations to join the Eurozone and adopt the Single Currency in three years may be rewarded, the European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek
“Bulgaria has the opportunity to become member of the Eurozone in 2013. I would welcome this kind of development,
” Jerzy Buzek said after meeting the Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov
in Brussels this morning.
The economic crisis and its impact on countries already in the Eurozone, a subject that topped the agenda of the meeting between the two officials, will not foil Bulgaria's plans for joining the Eurozone as scheduled, Mr Buzek said.
The current situation in Greece
, where the country's authorities had to admit it had provided incorrect information and revealed it had much larger budget deficits than it should (12% GDP instead of the maximum 3% GDP), has triggered fears about the stability of the Eurozone and evoked concerns that it may end up foiling Bulgaria's aspirations to join the Euro in three years.
It is thought that Bulgaria would be among the countries most at risk from any potential future spillovers from Greece's problems since Greek banks control 28 percent of the Balkan country’s market, but the country which joined the EU in 2007, posted the smallest budget deficit
among the 27 member states last year, according to the finance ministry.
In fact, it is expected to be the only
EU nation to balance its budget in the 2010 financial year.
On 11th January 2010, the Bulgarian Prime-Minister Boyko Borisov said that his country would apply for ERM II membership in the end of the month
and has set the deadline for entering at the end of June, when the Spanish Presidency of the European Union ends.
As laid down in the 1992 Maastricht Treaty
, countries must be members of ERM II for two years before they can formally join the Eurozone. During the ERM II period, the candidate country establishes and runs economic policies that align its economy to that of the Eurozone
to ease the transition.
Bulgaria believes that it could be ready for Euro entry by 2013
, and is very enthusiastic to adopt the single currency - so much so that on the occasion it joined the EU in April 2005, the Bulgarian National Bank issued a commemorative coin with a face value of 1.95583 Leva
, pictured above left, giving it a nominal value of exactly 1 Euro.