evroto.bg Official website for adoption of the Euro in the Republic of Bulgaria

Eurogroup President Paschal Donohoe struck a positive tone on Bulgaria’s efforts to join the euro area in 2025 as the Balkan country struggles to meet inflation criteria while avoiding a new political crisis.

“I look forward to welcoming Bulgaria into the euro area next year as they continue their efforts to meet the entry criteria,” he told Bloomberg Television on Monday.

The European Union’s poorest member is seeking to adopt the single currency in January after numerous setbacks. But the war in Ukraine and the ensuing energy crisis boosted consumer-price growth to the highest level since the 1990s, making it hard to meet the target value before a June review by the European Central Bank and the bloc’s executive arm.

The government in Sofia has said it will be looking to delay the evaluation, with inflation set to slow quickly enough to meet the criteria by year-end. Still, the threat of a political crisis may hinder those efforts. 

Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov resigned last week as part of a power-sharing deal envisaging that his foreign minister, former EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, takes over. That might not happen as the two biggest political parties in the country — old-time rivals that united in 2023 to overcome instability — still haven’t agreed to remain in coalition. One of the points of conflict is a fight whether to replace Finance Minister Assen Vassilev.

Changing the finance chief months before potentially adopting the euro would be “political behavior that is very hard to explain,” Hristo Ivanov, leader of one of the ruling parties, told reporters Saturday.

The calculation is based on the fixed exchange rate of the Bulgarian National Bank of the Bulgarian lev to the Euro. 1 EUR = 1.95583 BGN