(Photo: Emica Elvedji/PIXSELL) (Photo: Emica Elvedji/PIXSELL)

Plenković chaired the 7th meeting of the national council for the adoption of the euro, at which the national plan for the replacement of the Croatian kuna was adopted. This strategic document was jointly prepared by the Croatian National Bank and the government and was put to public consultation today so that it could be adopted by the government before the end of the year.

Provided it meets all the criteria, Croatia could introduce the euro as early as 1 January 2023, and in order to organise its introduction, it needs to implement the national plan for the replacement of the kuna, Plenković told the press after the meeting.

The national plan sets out legislative, administrative and logistical activities needed to complete the process, including price, deposit and loan conversion rules. Its fundamental principle is to protect consumers by adopting the new currency at no cost and according to a fixed conversion rate and by establishing a mechanism to prevent any miscalculation or undue price increases.

In order to allay fears of price hikes, National Bank Governor Boris Vujčić said prices would be listed in both currencies. "This will start from the moment we know we are entering the eurozone and it will last for at least six months from the moment we adopt the euro. This will be a key measure to prevent the unlawful rounding up of prices," said Vujčić.

The prime minister added that the benefits of adopting the euro were clear. "If Croatia were now in the eurozone now, especially in these unprecedented times of crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the currency risk for households and companies would no longer exist and there would be no risk either of a currency crisis," he said.

To achieve the goal, six coordinating committees will be set up - for cash exchange, for legislative adjustments, for the adjustment of general government, for the adjustment of the financial sector, for the adjustment of the economy and consumer protection, and for communication.

The National Council for Euro Adoption will play a pivotal role in the currency changeover, and the process itself will be overseen and coordinated by the Steering Committee, in which the Prime Minister's Office, the Ministry of Finance and the Croatian National Bank will have a key role.

Source: HRT