news 14 May 13

Croatia to Stay Cautious on Adopting Euro

Croatia's deputy prime minister said the country will keep its national currency, the kuna, and not opt for the euro until it has a sufficiently competitive economy.

Croatia Week

Vesna Pusic, Croatia’s first deputy prime minister, said that adopting the euro might have been seen as some sort of trophy in the past, but things had now changed.


“After joining the EU, Croatia will keep the kuna as a means of payment and we won't push into the euro until we have an absolutely competitive economy and until we are sure that we can prosper in such conditions,” said Pusic, who is also president of the Croatian People's Party.


"It's better to go slow, prepare well and only then assume obligations," she added.


The deputy prime minister reiterated that the country had failed to absorb all the pre-accession funds available because it was not properly prepared.


She said that the 1.8 billion euro envisaged for Croatia over the next two years must be used wisely.


“If we don’t come up with ideas, some other countries will use that money,” Pusic said.


EU enlargement commissioner Stefan Fuele meanwhile said that Croatia’s economic situation was “very challenging”.


Fuele noted last week that investment in the country had declined after the global financial crisis of 2009, structural problems remained, while complex bureaucracy and corruption both have a negative impact on the economy.


In order to overcome these obstacles, Fuele called on the Croatian people to remain patient.


"Do not expect dramatic changes overnight! Croatia will not be a different country on July 1 than it was on June 30,” he said.


But he added that Croatia had already been “transformed through the enlargement process”.


“Important and fundamental changes have already taken place,” he said.


Croatia is set to join the EU on July 1.


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