Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Monday that he was convinced that Croatia would be ready to join the Eurozone on 1 January 2023.
Speaking at the 11th meeting of the national council on the introduction of the euro as Croatia’s official currency, Plenković said that Croatia had the full support of the European Commission and the European Central Bank to join the eurozone.
“We approached this process in a very structured, careful way. We believe we will meet in time all the commitments we have made by entering the Exchange Rate Mechanism.”
He said the government regularly discussed the implementation of reforms in the prevention of money laundering, the business environment, the administration of public administration and the justice system, adding that he was confident that all the ministries involved would fulfill what had been agreed. .
Plenkovic reiterated that over 60% of Croatia’s exports were to EU member states, over 60% of tourists to Croatia came from the Eurozone, over two-thirds of savings and half of loans in Croatia were in euros, and that Croatia was already “very euroized economy”.
“The experience of countries that joined the eurozone shows that it benefited both their citizens and their economies. Entering the euro area will eliminate currency risk and exchange costs, reduce interest rates, increase foreign investment and increase the possibility of financing in the capital market, which we are sure will have an additional effect on our credit rating, ”said Plenković.
It will also facilitate exports and tourist arrivals, he added.
Comparing wage and price trends in the new member states, it can be concluded that gross wages increased significantly in relation to price increases, he said. “Living standards rose sharply after the introduction of the euro.”
Plenkovic reiterated that Croatia will have 25 billion euros in EU funds available in the coming years.
“We expect that an advance of € 818 million could reach Croatia in the coming weeks and, with the GDP growth we saw in the second quarter and that, after such a successful tourist season, it will certainly be “in the third quarter, to start the strong economic recovery, strengthening the resilience of the Croatian economy, the quality of life and raising the standard of our fellow citizens.”
European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said at the meeting that the Croatian government had shown strong political will and set ambitious goals.
The commission strongly supports the work and ambitions of the government and other Croatian institutions to join the eurozone, which requires meeting all Maastricht criteria, he added.
Your economy is recovering well and will receive support through the recovery plan and resilience. Croatia is the largest beneficiary of EU funds. 11.6% of GDP is allocated to Croatia in grants, he said.