Croatia on course to meet euro criteria

High inflation should not stop Croatia from meeting the convergence criteria and joining the eurozone next January, the governor of the Croatian National Bank, Boris Vujčić, said , according to poslovni.hr.

In a speech entitled ‘Croatia, one step away from the eurozone’ delivered at a local banking conference, the governor said all preconditions had been met and what remains is to get the confirmation of the nominal convergence in June and final approval by the European Council.

Inflation, expressed as the harmonised index of consumer prices (HCPI), is one of the most complex convergence criteria as the rules demand that the average 12-month HICP must be no more than 1.5 percentage points higher than the average of the similar HICP inflation rates in the three EU member states with the lowest HICP inflation.

Croatia’s central bank data put the HICP in April at 9.6%, and Vujčić said on Thursday that despite higher inflation, he was confident Croatia would meet the criteria of price and exchange rate stability fiscal criteria and the long-term interest rates.

If confirmed, Croatia will be the first new EU country to adopt the single currency since Lithuania joined in 2015 and bring the number of euro area members to 20.

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