“The Governing Council of the Bulgarian National Bank has united around the idea of reproducing the design of the current exchange coins, which will ensure continuity in the monetary signs used and will facilitate the recognition of the new currency by Bulgarian citizens, namely: the Madara Rider – on the small coins; St. John of Rila – on the 1 euro coin; and Paisius of Hilendar – on the 2 euro coin,” reported BNB Governor Dimitar Radev in an interview with BTA.
On the national side of the Bulgarian euro coins, the word “Bulgaria” will be written in Cyrillic (България), as well as the word “euro” (евро) – (for the 1 and 2 euro coins) and “stotinka”, respectively “стотинка” (for the 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 euro cent coins).
On the face of the largest 2-euro coin, it is planned to write a text in Cyrillic “GOD, PROTECT BULGARIA” (БОЖЕ, ПАЗИ БЪЛГАРИЯ), which is in accordance with the Bulgarian historical traditions in coinage, added Radev.
The development of the artistic projects that will be submitted to the Coordination Council for the preparation of Bulgaria for membership in the Eurozone is pending. After their final approval, the projects will be presented to the Council of the European Union, the European Commission and the member states of the Eurozone.
Radev is convinced that January 1, 2025 remains a realistic date for Bulgaria’s admission to the Eurozone, “if we do the right things and fulfill the necessary conditions with a focus on inflation.” The BNB banking sector will be ready for the introduction of the euro far before the deadline – he assures.
The governor points to inflation and economic growth as macroeconomic risks facing the country, which are influenced not only by external factors, but also internal ones, more specifically – the development of monetary and fiscal conditions in the country.
“The BNB is conducting a systematic and consistent policy of tightening monetary conditions. The latest step in this regard, effective from July 1 of this year, is the 12% increase in the mandatory minimum reserves that banks must keep in the BNB. In practice, this means withdrawing several billion leva from commercial banks. The goal is to reduce banks’ credit expansion, primarily in the segment of housing loans. This will push down demand and consumption, and therefore inflation.” said Radev.
The rates of credit expansion are decreasing – his observations indicate.
“We are influencing the process through three groups of measures. First, using the available monetary policy instruments – for example, the already indicated decision to increase the minimum reserve requirements. Second, using the supervisory and macroprudential policy instruments – for example, the increase in the countercyclical capital buffer. And third, accelerating the transmission of the ECB’s monetary policy, which pursues the same goal. We are closely monitoring the process and are ready to activate additional measures if this is necessary.”
According to him, an increase in interest rates on both loans and deposits can be more clearly defined towards the end of this year and next year.