Bulgaria has decided to postpone indefinitely its long-held plans to adopt the euro, the Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and the Finance Minister Simeon Djankov, have revealed.
In an interview for The Wall Street Journal, Borisov and Djankov explained that the decision came in response to deteriorating economic conditions and rising uncertainty over the prospects of the bloc, alongside a shift of public opinion in Bulgaria, which is entering its third year of an austerity program.
"The momentum has shifted in our thinking and among the public....Right now, I don't see any benefits of entering the Eurozone, only costs," Djankov said.
"The public rightly wants to know who would we have to bail out when we join? It's too risky for us and it's also not certain what the rules are and what are they likely to be in one year or two," he added.
Borisov predicted a deepening divide in Europe, saying that many governments were not prepared to stomach the difficult decisions they have to take.
"It's like a spoilt child who doesn't want to go to the dentist to fix his bad teeth, even though the operation is needed," he said.
Thanks to its tight fiscal discipline, Sofia now satisfies all criteria to enter the European exchange-rate mechanism, the final stage before adopting the bloc's single currency.