COVID-19 pandemic to delay Bulgaria's ERM-II entry until 2021

COVID-19 pandemic to delay Bulgaria's ERM-II entry until 2021

Bulgaria's entry in the Exchange Rate Mechanism II (ERM II), the mandatory precursor to Eurozone membership, and the EU's banking union could be delayed until 2021 by the global coronavirus crisis, central bank governor Dimitar Radev said.
The target date for implementation of the first step for adopting the euro - joining the EU's banking union and the ERM II, is no longer realistic in the context of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, Radev said in a video file published by local TV station NOVA.
"This does not mean that work on the matter should stop," Radev said, adding that if politicians and institutions continue working towards preventing the spread of the COVID-19, a delay until next year will not be fatal.
Last month, European Commission executive vice president Valdis Dombrovskis said that Bulgaria is preparing to enter the ERM II but the initial target date of April might be postponed by a few months. Dombrovskis also said that Bulgaria's finance Minister Vladislav Goranov had assured him that the country is progressing well in delivering on the commitments it made before the European Commission and the European Central Bank as part of its plan to adopt the euro.
In October of last year, Goranov said Bulgaria will possibly conclude all processes needed for its accession to the ERM II and the banking union of the EU by the end of April 2020.
Bulgaria is currently in a state of emergency over the spread of the coronavirus infection.
On March 19, Bulgaria's central bank unveiled a set of measures worth 9.3 billion levs ($5.1 billion/4.8 billion euro) that are intended to maintain the stability of the banking system amidst the coronavirus outbreak. At the same time, the measures also aim to strengthen the flexibility of the banking system in order to reduce the negative effects on both businesses and individuals stemming from the restrictions imposed on the economy because of the COVID-19 spread, the central bank said back then.

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