Bulgaria's Eurozone Ambitions by 2025: Addressing Inflation and Economic Alignment

Bulgaria's prospects for joining the euro in 2025 have been bolstered by a cooling annual inflation rate, which dropped to the eurozone average of 2.4% in April, marking its first dip below 3% since the summer of 2021, according to statements from the country's finance ministry to Euractiv Bulgaria.

The ministry affirmed a strong political commitment from Sofia to align with Eurozone standards, indicating a possibility of meeting the price stability criterion before the end of 2024. Plans include submitting additional convergent reports upon fulfilling this criterion, with a request for an autumn review this year to assess Bulgaria's readiness for Eurozone integration.

Recent data from the National Statistical Institute (NSI) underscores Bulgaria's ongoing trend of declining inflation, with expectations for the next convergence report on Eurozone readiness due in June 2024. Should the inflation criterion remain unmet, Bulgaria has the option to request another report three months later, potentially aligning with summer months when inflation traditionally diminishes.

Bulgaria currently satisfies other key criteria for Eurozone membership, boasting minimal public debt at 23.1% of GDP and a budget deficit well below 3%. European Commission projections anticipate GDP growth of 1.9% in 2024 and 2.9% in 2025, with deficits expected to remain at 2.8% and 2.9% respectively.

EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni expressed confidence in Bulgaria's Eurozone accession process during a visit to Sofia, emphasizing parity with Croatia and highlighting the eurozone's anticipation of Bulgaria's integration as its 21st member.

Financial expert Rumen Galabinov notes that macroeconomic indicators signal Bulgaria's alignment with Eurozone...

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