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BIA: Joining the euro area may turn Bulgaria into a bridge between Europe and Middle East

Deputy Chairman of the Bulgarian Industrial Association (BIA) said that Bulgaria could become a bridge between the Middle East, Europe and the Balkan countries

Deputy Chairman of the Bulgarian Industrial Association (BIA), said that if Bulgaria joins the euro area it could turn into a bridge between Europe and the Middle East and a model for the Western Balkan countries.

According to sources, the Deputy Chairman Dimitar Brankov, told a press conference that recent polling data show that Bulgarian society is poorly informed about the functioning of the euro area and the euro in general.

He added that over 69% of respondents said that they do not have enough information on the matter. Brankov rejected appeals for holding a national referendum on the accession to the euro area as legally unfounded, reiterating that with its accession to the EU, Bulgaria acquired both the right and the obligation to join the euro area at some point.

He called for speeding up Bulgaria’s preparations and using all tools to secure foreign political support for the country’s joining the ERM II mechanism, initially, and then in the shortest possible term the euro area. He also underscored that this must be the highest priority in national economic policy, considering the expected benefits for local income, competitiveness, investments, productivity and demography.

He highlighted that Bulgaria could become a bridge between the Middle East, Europe and the Balkan countries.

“Our entry into the euro area and the use of the euro provide very promising prospects for our economic and social development and our transformation into a model for the Western Balkan countries, willing to join the EU, to follow,” Dimitar Brankov said.

Brussels insiders are confident Bulgaria can make the grade and show the euro project is truly back on track. On paper, the country has plenty going for it. Its currency has been pegged to the euro since 1999 (ceding control over its exchange rate) and the government’s public finances are in healthy shape.