Minister Vasilev: Entry into the Eurozone requires a stable political environment and a regular government

"Regulators must work for the benefit of the citizens," the finance minister was emphatic

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"We are following the plan for the euro. Yesterday we had a meeting with Christine Lagarde from the European Central Bank, with Pascal Donahue, who is the president of the Eurogroup, with the two commissioners Paolo Gentiloni and Valdis Dombrovskis. All forecasts - both by the EC and the ECB show that the last criterion that we have not met - the inflation criterion - will be met in 2024, which opens up membership in 2025," the finance minister told the media after the informal ECOFIN meeting in Ghent, Belgium.

"Of course, joining the Eurozone requires a stable political environment and a regular government. The entire legislative program has already been adopted, that is, we have no legislative obstacles from now on. All that remains is the law on the adoption of the euro, which is currently in consultation with the EC and the ECB," he commented. According to him, it purely technically regulates the currency conversion process. But despite this, in order to maintain the deficit - last year we finished with 2.2%, this year we are again in the criteria, in order to be able to continue the financial policy and the intensive work on the introduction of the euro, political stability is necessary", he pointed out he. In response to a question, the finance minister specified that this year the forecasts of the ECB and the EC are for the average annual inflation to be around 3%.

In relation to the domestic political situation, Minister Vasilev expressed optimism that the rotation will happen: "You know how difficult it was to assemble the government the first time. A legislative program was made, a government program was made, which also led to a successful end to the negotiations last summer. Now at the moment we also have a document that is a starting point. We have been able to move forward many tough legislative changes that have been decades in the making. This year, what looms as the most serious task is to make all these nice things that we legislatively created on paper last year actually work. This also depends on the personnel policy in these bodies, so that they are independent and really work for the benefit of the citizens, and on their institutional stability. And in fact, this is the process that we have to go through with GERB-SDS in order to see how these bodies can really work for the benefit of the citizens, and not for the benefit of one or another political force", commented Asen Vasilev. "The goal of the second half of the rotation is for Bulgaria to institutionally move forward and what we did as a legislative measure last year actually be fulfilled with substance and start working for the benefit of the Bulgarian citizens," confirmed the finance minister.

"Regulators must work for the benefit of the citizens", he is categorical and explained that the memorandum actually proposes a transparent process of how to select their members with prior screening, with public discussions, with public hearings, with the participation of the NGO sector. According to him, the process should not only be purely political with a clear division of who nominates whom, but it should also be clear in this regulator who bears the political responsibility for the nominations. The Minister of Finance is of the opinion that regulators in our country make extremely important decisions and therefore they must be independent and able to work on the basis of methodologies and real assessments with a European dimension. "Bulgaria needs working regulators. We are ready to discuss exactly how this will be achieved, whether we are a proposal - if there are other proposals, let's hear them," he stated.

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