Bulgaria Urges Brussels to Speed up Eurozone Entry

FOREX-EUROPE-EURO-DOLLARS-ILLUSTRATION-FILESMembers of the European Parliament from Central and Eastern European states, including Bulgaria, have announced plans to plead in Brussels for the faster accession of their countries into the eurozone.

Speeches to this effect will be made in the framework of the upcoming debate between the European Parliament and the European Commission on the measures that should be adopted for the economic recovery of the region, Iliyana Ivanova, MEP from the ruling GERB party told the Bulgarian National Radio.

Bulgaria new center-right government plans to apply early next year to join the exchange-rate mechanism, the two-year currency stability test prior to euro adoption, and seek to switch to the common currency in 2013.

Initially the application was planned for November, but it was delayed till February at the earliest, after all member states submit their convergence programs, which contains the mid-term goals of the fiscal policy.

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.

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