Finance Minister Zdravko Maric said on Friday that the bill on introducing the euro currency in Croatia was being prepared and the draft could be outlined in mid-January while its final adoption could be expected in April next year.
In addition to that bill, it will be necessary to amend 46 laws and 70 by-laws prior to the euro changeover, Maric said at a conference on Croatia’s accession to the euro area, organised in Rovinj by the Vecernji List daily and Istria County authorities.
The blueprint for the euro adoption envisages that on 1 January 2023 Croatia ought to be ready to enter the euro area while the formal announcement of accession to the euro area is expected mid-2022.
“At that moment, Croatia will practically enter the final phase and the preparations for the euro changeover will have to be stepped up,” said Maric and recalled that almost 1.1 billion coins and 500 million kuna banknotes have to be withdrawn and banks, post offices, Fina and companies need to be pre-supplied with sufficient euro coins and banknotes.
The financial sector will have to adapt and then there is one huge common task and that is to inform and protect consumers as an integral principle of the entire process.
Prices will have to be expressed in both currencies as of August next year and that should also help alleviate inflation pressure.
“As of 1 January 2023 we will change over to the euro overnight and then have another two weeks for both currencies in circulation and citizens will be able to continue to pay in kuna but after that payments will be in euro. The dual prices will remain for at least one year,” he underscored.
“Prime Minister (Andrej) Plenkovic and (HNB) Governor (Boris) Vujcic and I are lobbying our European colleagues for Croatia to be the next country to enter the European monetary area. We all know that we have a highly eurorised society and economy. And the HNB too, is integrated into the European system of central banks, so it is natural to head towards what is stipulated in EU accession agreements,” he said.
The conference further heard that despite some of the economic risks that may occur by relinquishing the national currency, changeover to the euro opens a series of economic opportunities.