Valdis Dombrovskis and Andrej Plenković
Foto: Sanjin Strukic / PIXSELL
After the European Commission and the European Central Bank published a positive Convergence Report on Croatia's progress in meeting the criteria for the introduction of the euro yesterday, Vice President of the Commission for Economy and Trade Valdis Dombrovskis arrived in Zagreb. He spoke with the ministers of finance and economy and Prime Minister Andrej Plenković. After the meeting, the Prime Minister said that Croatia was the only one of the remaining EU members outside the Eurozone that met all the criteria for membership in the European Economic and Monetary Union, emphasizing that this achieved one of the Government's strategic goals.
After the meeting, they gave public statements.
“Today, after yesterday's news and the EC meeting, we have the opportunity to hear firsthand the Commission's assessment in the convergence report, which applies not only to the Republic of Croatia but also to all non-Eurozone countries, regarding who fulfills criteria for entry into the Eurozone. Such a positive report is very good for Croatia because, according to the same criteria, we are the only country that meets the criteria, and the Commission yesterday proposed that Croatia become a member of the Eurozone on January 1, 2023,” said Prime Minister Andrej Plenković.
“What is very important is that the Republic of Croatia meets the criterion of price stability. You have seen that the average inflation according to this report over the past 12 months, until April this year, was 4.7%, the reference value is 4.9%, so we were within that criterion,” he added.
“It is important that when it comes to the budget deficit, according to the report of the European Central Bank, we also received confirmation that we are below the criterion of 3%,” said the Prime Minister.
“A recent report from the European Commission showed that Croatia has no macroeconomic imbalances and that in the whole package of our efforts from responsible public finance management, exit from the excessive budget deficit procedure, exit from macroeconomic imbalances, and raising the credit rating to investment level, we have implemented all reforms on time and in accordance with the action plan. These are - the prevention of money laundering and the fight against corruption, and this shows that Croatia has achieved fundamental political goals in the mandates of the two governments through the implementation of the strategy for the introduction of the euro,” said Plenković.
“We have worked thoroughly to ensure that this entry benefits Croatian citizens and the Croatian economy. We are joining the club of 19 members of the Union, tomorrow with Croatia 20, and so we are joining the club of countries with the strongest economies. Croatia's entry into the Eurozone will raise Croatia's credibility in economic and financial terms. We will live better and with a higher standard, which was the goal of the Government,” said the Prime Minister, recalling that there are two basic goals - entry into the Eurozone and the Schengen area.
The Vice President of the European Commission for Economy Valdis Dombrovskis
Foto: Sanjin Strukic / PIXSELL
Dombrovskis: EC report opens Croatia's entry into Eurozone
The Executive Vice President of the European Commission for the Economy, Valdis Dombrovskis, emphasized that Croatia's entry into the Eurozone is a big step for Croatia itself and for the entire European Union.
“Croatia has met all the criteria for joining the Eurozone. That is why I would like to congratulate the Croatian government and Croatian citizens on this impressive achievement. The European Commission's report paved the way for Croatia's entry into the Eurozone on January 1, 2023. This will complete the process of Croatia's integration into the European Union in less than a decade since its accession to the Association of European States,” said Dombrovskis.
“Our common currency symbolizes the strength, unity and solidarity of the European Union, which is extremely important in this geopolitical moment when Russian aggression in Ukraine threatens the overall security in Europe,” he said.
Among other things, Dombrovskis highlighted the ambitious implementation of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, based on the next-generation EU instrument, which will serve Croatia to further address key economic and institutional challenges.
Plenković: I expect all actors in society to be guided by the principle of fair transition to the euro
Prime Minister Plenković also answered a journalist's question about whether he was afraid of "hunters in the dark" and unjustified price increases due to inflation.
“The Ministry of Economy will monitor everything that happens with prices in the context of inflationary pressures, which have nothing to do with our efforts that have been taking place systematically over the past four years,” said Plenković. “I expect all actors in society to be guided by the principle of a fair changeover to the euro. To be fair. This is a process led by the Government with a political decision and fulfillment of what we agreed to by joining the EU. Business entities, with very detailed monitoring of protection associations, ministries, and the media, all must monitor that there are no such hunters in the dark, and if there are, then they should be called out publicly. Those who want to profit from the introduction of the euro must be pointed out,” said the Croatian Prime Minister.
Maric: We still have a lot of work ahead of us
Minister of Finance Zdravko Marić thanked everyone involved in the process.
“When we look from 2016 onwards, Croatia has come out of macroeconomic imbalances in two steps, it is no longer a country with excessive budget deficits, and at the same time this Convergence Report is coming as the crown achievement of everything we have done,” said Marić.
The Minister of Finance pointed out that Croatia still has a lot of work to do with the introduction of the euro, including technical and operational work, which includes adequate supply and pre-supply of cash to banks, Fina and the Croatian Post, as well as indirect pre-supply of companies, for everyone to be ready from 1 January to realize all transactions in euros.
Gordan Jandroković and Valdis Dombrovskis
Foto: Patrik Macek / PIXSELL
Valdis Dombrovskis was also received by the Croatian Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković, and he also participated in a meeting with representatives of the Committee on European Affairs, the Committee on Finance and the State Budget, the Committee on Economy and the Committee on Regional Development and EU Funds.
The meeting was attended by the Chairman of the Committee on European Affairs Domagoj Hajduković, Chairman of the Committee on Finance and State Budget Grozdana Perić, Vice Chairman of the Committee on Finance and State Budget Boris Lalovac, Chairman of the Committee on Regional Development and EU Funds Marko Pavić, Vice Chairman of the Committee on Regional Development and EU funds Marin Lerotić, member of the Committee on Economy Tomislav Okroša and member of the Committee on Finance and State Budget Anton Kliman.
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