Bulgaria has met all requirements for entry in the euro zone but at this stage it will not apply for membership, the country's prime minister Boiko Borisov said at a government meeting held on Wednesday.
"We will not join the euro zone because we are not up to helping others right now - first we have to improve our own incomes," state-run Bulgarian News Agency (BTA) cited Borisov as saying.
The European Central Bank (ECB) published its long-term interest rate report which is used to assess a country's convergence with Europe. In Bulgaria, the rate remained flat on the month in May at 5.11%, below the 5.8% reference value and lower than the rate of 12 EU Member States, including seven in the euro area.
Bulgaria, along with Denmark and Sweden, is one of three EU member states that fulfill this Maastricht criterion, the prime minister said.
The 12-month average rate of EU-harmonized index of consumer prices inflation in Bulgaria was 2.7%, which is lower than the reference value of 3.1% for the criterion on price stability.
The government debt to GDP ratio stood at 16.3%, far below the reference value of 60%, which ranks Bulgaria second in the EU after Estonia.