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News 11 Oct 17

Croatia is Readying to Join Eurozone, Minister Says

Croatia's government and central bank say the time is right for the country to introduce the euro in few years’ time, with citizens already doing most of their calculations in this currency.

Sven Milekic
BIRN
Zagreb
 Croatian Economy Minister Martina Dalic

Croatian Economy Minister Martina Dalic said on Wednesday that both the government and the Croatian National Bank, HNB, support the idea of Croatia entering the eurozone.

“The government, along with HNB, estimates that it is a good time to initiate eurozone accession, which is a medium-term goal; this can’t be done in the short term, overnight [however],” Dalic said.

The HNB says it has analysed all the costs and benefits of introducing the euro and replacing the national currency, the kuna.

The government will open a public debate process at the end of the month, while it is expected that the country could enter the eurozone in 2022 or 2023.

“Croats keep most of their saving in euros, more than 80 per cent of deposits are already in euros, major transactions, real estate purchases, car purchases are negotiated in euros – the euro has long been living as part of our everyday life,” Dalic explained.

She concluded that Croatia could soon fulfil the requirements for introducing the euro due to the growth rate of the national economy, reductions in the budget deficit and lower public debt.

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