Bulgarian PM: Fears being deliberately planted against the euro are largely unfounded

The fears that are deliberately planted against the euro are largely unfounded, Bulgarian Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov said on August 7.

For Bulgaria’s pro-Western government, that took office in June 2023, one of its five main policy priorities is joining the euro zone from January 1 2025.

The introduction of the euro in Bulgaria will not lead to serious overall inflationary effects, according to leading economists and financiers from the Council for Economic Analysis, Bulgarian National Radio reported on August 5.

A pro-Kremlin minority party in Bulgaria’s Parliament launched a failed bid for a national referendum on postponing for decades Bulgaria’s adoption of the euro.

Denkov, speaking on Facebook to answer questions from the public to mark his government’s second month in office, said that the transition from lev to euro will save a lot of money for both businesses and people who have to use the euro.

He said that it was expected that in September-October, there would be an information campaign so that people could understand what they would gain and what they should be careful about.

The euro is used in Bulgaria and has been for years, Denkov said. Bulgaria has a currency board arrangement by which the local currency is tied to the euro at a fixed exchange rate.

On a separate question, Denkov said that broadcast media regulator the Council for Electronic Media was not doing its job.

“Journalists who spread false facts cannot go unsanctioned. Journalistic ethics require checking through several sources, and if the interlocutor tells you something false – immediately refute it,” he said.

On the war in Ukraine, he said that the militarisation of the Black Sea is taking place along the lines of Russian aggression – first against Crimea, and in the past 20 days Russian ships have settled in the waters of Bulgaria’s exclusive economic zone.

As to the matter of the Soviet Army Monument in Sofia, which Sofia city council wants moved away from the centre of the capital city and which his government has taken steps to ease such a move, Denkov said the government would assist Sofia municipality.

There were already many proposals about where the monument could be moved to, he said.

On the proposed amendments to Bulgaria’s constitution, proposed jointly by GERB-UDF, We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, Denkov said that the changes retained the caretaker government “what these changes are trying to avoid is one man being able to rule” – a reference to the way President Roumen Radev acted in past months through the caretaker government he appointed.

“What is being proposed is for the President to choose a Prime Minister, from among three candidates, then he (the PM) should propose the ministers to the head of state. This is a balancing of the system,” Denkov said.

This meant that there would be a caretaker government, in the absence of an elected one, but the caretaker ministers would not be “able to appear in politics, as was the case in the past year”.

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