Croatia will be given the green light to join the eurozone from next year

Finance ministers of the EUROPEAN Union yesterday officially approved Croatia to become the 20th member of the common euro currency in early 2023, a move being hailed as the culmination of an “amazing journey” for a Balkan nation once at war.

European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis said Croatia’s accession confirms that the euro remains an “attractive, resilient and successful global currency” and a symbol of strength and unity.

“This is particularly important at such a challenging time, when Russia’s aggression against Ukraine continues to send shockwaves around the world,” Mr Dombrovskis said at a ceremony marking Croatia’s accession, the first enlargement of the eurozone since 2015.

The European Council, the coalition of 27 EU governments, has passed three pieces of legislation needed for Croatia – an EU member state since 2013 – to adopt the euro on January 1st.

One of these laws fixed the exchange rate for entry at 7.53450 Croatian kuna to 1 euro, with Croatia now having a few months to prepare the practical details of the currency changeover.

Croatia has been an independent country since 1991, when it left what was then federal Yugoslavia, which, combined with Bosnia’s secession a year later, sparked years of devastating war with Serbia.

Neighboring Slovenia, also a former Yugoslav republic and now an EU member, introduced the euro in 2007. Nineteen countries are currently in the eurozone.

Croatia was led by nationalist strongman Franjo Tudjman until his death in 1999, and in order to qualify as an EU member it took steps to fight corruption and improve governance, including the condemnation of Ivo Sanader, Prime Minister of 2003 to 2009.

Croatian Finance Minister Zdravko Maric called the EU’s green light to adopt the euro a “great historic day” for his country, whose stunning Adriatic coast is a major tourist destination.

EU Economic Commissioner Paulo Gentiloni described the entry into the euro zone as an “extraordinary result”.

Croatia joins as market confidence in the euro has fallen and the single has hit its weakest level in 20 years and is at par against the dollar. Croatia will be given the green light to join the eurozone from next year

Fry Electronics Team

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