Entering Euro Area Is in Croatia’s Interest, Says Prime Minister

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, May 15, 2019 – Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Tuesday that entering euro area was a goal that should be achieved as it was in Croatia’s interest, i.e. good for its economy, financial system and international position, and so that Croatia could be a successful European Union member.

He was speaking ahead of the presentation of certificates to participants in a Columbia University two-day seminar on Croatia’s access to the euro area that was held at the State School for Public Administration on Monday and today. The participants were 28 state officials and civil servants, members of a task force for the introduction of the euro as Croatia’s official currency.

Plenković said Croatia’s access to the euro area was one of the main political, economic and financial topics for the next five years. He recalled the government and central bank’s strategy for the introduction of the euro, saying that for more than 18 months now its aim had been to raise public awareness of Croatia’s deeper integration into the euro area.

“Croatia is in fact already integrated into the euro area,” Plenković said, as the area’s member states are its main trade partners, 77% of Croatian citizens’ savings and 54% of loans are in euros, as is 70% of the tourism revenue, 60% of bed nights is generated by citizens from the euro area, 66% of foreign tourists’ spending is in euros, as is 75% of Croatia’s foreign debt.

“That means we are de facto there,” he said, adding that the strategy envisaged first participating in the European Exchange Rate Mechanism II, on which all departments are working.

Plenković went on to say that the seminar was the second of its kind for civil servants after the first one in January, organised in cooperation with Harvard University. He said this government initiative would enable those tasked with key reforms to carry them out in the best way possible, using the experience of other countries.

Finance Minister Zdravko Marić said joining the euro area was one of Croatia’s main remaining goals.

Croatia is at a special stage of its development and once it introduces the euro and carries out the necessary reforms, it will have incredible potential, which is also reflected in its educated population and geographical position, said Columbia professor Jan Svejnar, one of the speakers at the seminar.

Other speakers included former Slovakian finance minister Ivan Miklos and former Greek economy and finance minister Nicos Christodoulakis.

More news about the introduction of euro can be found in the Business section.


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