Bulgaria has indefinitely frozen long-held plans to join the euro zone in response to deteriorating economic conditions and rising uncertainty over the prospects of the bloc.
Speaking in interviews in Sofia, prime minister Boiko Borisov and finance minister Simeon Dyankov stated that the decision to put on hold plans for joining the currency area are also based on a shift of public opinion in the Balkan country, which is entering its third year of an austerity programme, Wall Street Journal reported.
"The momentum has shifted in our thinking and among the public [...] Right now, I don't see any benefits of entering the euro zone, only costs," Wall Street Journal cited Dyankov as saying.
Prime minister Borisov expressed his concerns from growing disputes between European law makers, as some of them support Germany's call to give priority to fiscal discipline over growth, while others are in favour of a more expansionary policy.
"I'm certain that we will definitely see a deepening divide in Europe now because many governments are not prepared to stomach the difficult decisions they have to take," Borisov added.
Bulgaria's economy should expand by around 1.5% this year, according to Dyankov, but he warned that the euro zone could face up to five years with "zero growth" if national leaders continue to mull policy responses to the crisis.