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Finance Ministry: European Central Bank Issues Positive Opinion on Bulgaria’s Euro Changeover

The Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) adopted on May 2 an opinion with which it expresses a positive assessment of the draft law on the introduction of the euro in the Republic of Bulgaria, the Ministry of Finance said on its website.
The ECB welcomes the draft law’s objective of facilitating a smooth changeover to the euro in Bulgaria, as well as a timely implementation of the necessary measures in connection therewith.
The Finance Ministry noted that the ECB welcomes the provisions in the draft law, according to which BNB should exchange banknotes and coins from lev into euro free of charge, in an unlimited quantity and without a time limit, at the official exchange rate.
The opinion takes into account the approach proposed in the draft law to ensure a neutral changeover to the euro, whereby, in addition to the general conversion and rounding rules, special more favourable rounding rules are introduced for certain values, such as wages, benefits, cash and social allowances and pensions. Special rounding rules are also introduced in some of the amendments to other national laws provided for in the draft law, which aim to fully transpose the relevant values expressed in euro as set out in EU directives and regulations.
The ECB also notes the draft law’s approach of explicit statutory provisions to ensure that interest rates on deposits and credit agreements cannot be adversely affected, thereby ensuring consumer protection.
In its opinion, the ECB makes some specific technical comments related to the editing of specific texts of the draft law in order to fully comply with the relevant European provisions to which they refer.
The ECB points out that on December 22, 2023 and March 26, 2024 it received requests from the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB), acting on behalf of the Bulgarian Finance Minister, for an opinion on the draft law.