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Bulgaria Plans to Adopt the Euro by 2013

Date: 21.09.2009

Bulgaria has set 2013, when the term of the new center-right government expires, as the target date for adopting the euro, Finance Minister Simeon Djankov said on Wednesday.

„My key goal for the whole mandate is Eurozone entry," Djankov, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, told a news conference, adding that he was an optimist that this will happen.

Bulgaria's new center-right government plans to apply in November to join the exchange-rate mechanism, the European Union's two-year currency stability test before the country can the lev and adopt the euro.

Joining the exchange-rate mechanism would bring Bulgaria closer to the umbrella of the euro region and the protection of the European Central Bank and is conditional on whether the new government will succeed to restore Brussels trust.

The lev is already linked to the euro in a currency board that keeps the Bulgarian currency at 1.9558 to the euro. Joining the exchange-rate mechanism may allow the lev to fluctuate by as much as 15 % around a central band, though the central bank has said it will leave the lev tightly pegged to the euro through the duration of the two years.

Bulgaria's entry in the eurozone, initially scheduled for 2010, has been set back for some time around 2012-2013. Experts say it is conditional on continued fiscal prudence and lower inflation.

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