(DF) Parliament Issues Mandate for Entry in Euro Area Only at Lev-Euro Rate of 1.95583

January 30 (BTA) – The National Assembly Thursday adopted with 140 votes in favour, 2 against and 66 abstentions a resolution on determining the conditions for negotiating a central lev-euro rate in accordance with paragraph 2.3 of the Resolution of the European Council on the Establishment of an Exchange-rate Mechanism in the Third Stage of Economic and Monetary Union Amsterdam. When negotiating a central lev-euro rate in accordance with paragraph 2.3, the Finance Minister and the Bulgarian National Bank Governor will continue to propose, uphold and vote in favour of a position on a central rate of 1.95583 leva per 1 euro. Bulgaria will not participate in the Exchange Rate Mechanism II (ERM II) if the central rate is different, Parliament’s resolution reads. Yordan Tsonev MP of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, co-sponsor of the draft resolution, said during the parliamentary debate that the document sends a clear signal both to Bulgaria’s European partners and to Bulgarian citizens that Bulgaria wants to enter the euro area but not at all costs. In his words, the second part of the resolution states that should any of the euro area countries plus Denmark propose a different lev-euro rate, Bulgaria will leave its path to the euro area. Kristian Vigenin MP of BSP for Bulgaria opposed the hasty manner in which such an important decision was being taken and said his parliamentary group would abstain during the vote on the resolution. Toma Bikov MP of GERB accused BSP for Bulgaria of being about to destroy the consensus on Bulgaria’s entry in the euro area. On Wednesday, Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov told a news briefing in Parliament after a meeting with the National Assembly’s leadership, that political consensus exists in this country on its accession to the euro area. He said that everybody also agrees that the present lev-euro peg should remain unchanged. RY/DS /ДЛ/