What Challenges Bulgaria Faces Ahead of Its Eurozone Accession?
Monday, 12 December 2016
Bulgaria's capital Sofia hosted on December 8 the Bulgaria Economic Forum 2016. The main topic of discussion was related to the country's accession bid to the Eurozone. The participants at the forum commented why the European leaders did not allow Bulgaria to enter the ERM-2 mechanism. According to Bulgaria's economic expert Georgi Ganev, the Eurozone must solve its internal problems, before accepting new members. Formally, Bulgaria meets all economic criteria. However, it has to stay at the Eurozone's waiting room (the Exchange Rate Mechanism, known as ERM-2) for at least two years. In Georgi Ganev's view, the prices in Bulgaria will not increase drastically after the adoption of the Euro currency. The participants at the Bulgaria Economic Forum commented that Bulgaria has not been treated equally with other applicant countries.
According to the Chairman of Bulgaria Economic Forum Georgi Tabakov, the possible accession to the Eurozone would bring more benefits than minuses and that now is the perfect moment for Bulgaria to make a resolute step towards that goal. Mr Tabakov pointed out that the citizens of the Eurozone member countries pay three or four times less for their loans than the Bulgarian citizens in times when Bulgaria is still in a Currency Board. Georgi Tabakov contends that the main risks to Europe's economy and to the Eurozone are related to instability and populism.