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Bulgaria could adopt euro in January 2023

Euro adoption in Central and Eastern European countries would be positive for their sovereign creditworthiness, according to ratings agency Fitch.

However, the agency believes that the earliest euro adoption could take place is January 2023 for Bulgaria and January 2024 for Croatia, assuming these countries are successful in meeting European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM II) criteria and then the wider convergence criteria.

Bulgaria formally started the ERM II process in July 2018 and a decision on whether it can join is expected by the end of 2019. Croatia applied to join ERM II in early July 2019.

Romania has also expressed interest in joining ERM II but there is currently no formal timetable in place.

The prospects of euro adoption in Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic in the foreseeable future meanwhile remain remote, with little political willingness and in some cases very low public support for euro membership.