Croatian National Bank (HNB) governor Boris Vujčić said on Thursday that although the coronavirus pandemic strongly affected Croatia's economy and public finances, the introduction of the euro on 1 January 2023 was feasible.
Speaking at a conference on the Croatian monetary market in Opatija, Vujčić estimated that GDP would drop 10 percent this year and increase 6 percent next year.
"We expect the economy to recover quickly," he said, adding that it was important to meet the remaining Maastricht criteria and carry out the reforms Croatia committed to in the application to enter European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM II).
Vujčić said a dynamic economic recovery and maintaining fiscal indicators within the reference framework as of next year were crucial for introducing the euro.
The National Plan for replacing the kuna with the euro is being completed so that we are prepared to introduce the euro on the first day of 2023. This project, done in cooperation with the government, will be presented soon, while adoption and implementation are expected in the autumn, he explained.
The National Plan will regulate the practical steps of introducing the euro as well as properly inform citizens about it, Vujčić said, recalling that polls showed that sceptical citizens mostly feared that their living standards would decline and prices increase.
It is expected that the Council of the EU will establish in July 2022 that Croatia meets all the necessary requirements to adopt the single currency.