19:50 / 27.06.2022.

Author: Nikola Badovinac

Finance minister talks euro introduction with local governments

Finance Minister Zdravko Marić

Finance Minister Zdravko Marić

Foto: Marko Lukunic / Pixsell

The changeover to the euro is a big change for every Croatian citizen, Finance Minister Zdravko Marić said on Monday, adding that a lot of operational and technical work will have to be done after the formal decision on accepting Croatia into the euro zone in 2023, which is expected in two weeks.

Addressing a conference on preparations by municipalities, cities, counties, and their beneficiaries for the introduction of the euro as the official currency in Croatia, which was held in Zagreb, Marić said that the strategic part of introducing the euro was practically done and a formal decision by the Council for Economic and Financial Affairs (Ecofin) on that is expected on 12 July for Croatia to access the euro area on 1 January next year.


After that, however, there is still a lot of operational and technical work to be done, Marić said, adding that it is good to talk about this topic at the state level, but also at the local level, and to go through all the details of adjusting to the euro.


“We want this whole process and transition to be as painless and successful as possible,” Marić told reporters.


It is possible that there will be some additional costs here and there at the state and local government level, but efforts were made to calculate everything in advance, Marić said, noting that the people are protected and that the euro introduction will practically not bring any new costs.


He once again said that people have expressed fears that the changeover will result in the rounding off of prices, but also noted that the current inflationary pressures have nothing to do with the process of introducing the euro.


He added that no one can be absolutely sure that with such a big change there will not be any additional and unforeseen difficulties and, as one of the safeguards to facilitate adjusting to the euro, Marić singled out the possibility of cash payments in kuna two weeks after the euro is introduced.


He also noted that after the formal decision on joining the euro area is made, the official campaign for the introduction of the euro will begin, because the goal is to reach every citizen. He reiterated the many long-term benefits of the introduction of the euro, with Croatia becoming the 20th member of the largest monetary union in the world.


“This additionally creates an opportunity for the better reputation of our entrepreneurs who work in the euro area, but also beyond,” said Marić.


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