EU removes final obstacles for Croatia to adopt Euro currency

EU removes final obstacles for Croatia to adopt Euro currency

BRUSSELS, Belgium - The European UnionEuropean Union EU has removed the final obstacles for Croatia to adopt the Euro currency, the first expansion of the currency bloc in almost a decade.

Three related laws were approved by the EU finance ministers, which will allow Croatia to become the 20th member of the eurozone on 1 January.

Lithuania was the last country to adopt the currency in 2015.

In Brussels, Croatian Finance Minister Zdravko Maric said to reporters: "It is a big day for Croatia, I dare say historic. The Euro offers Croatia economic benefits by achieving closer financial ties with the currency bloc's other members and the European Central Bank'sEuropean Central Bank's monetary authority.

It also offers political rewards, as it gives members greater influence on the EU's top decision-making tables.

The EU Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis said that Croatia's accession to the monetary bloc is an important moment for the European UnionEuropean Union and confirms that the euro is an attractive, resilient and successful global currency. While Croatian political elites consider the Euro as a success, ordinary citizens are concerned with double-digit inflation and are worried about further price increases.

Visnja Gacic, a Zagreb resident, said they are constantly comforting us on the radio that prices will be fine, but I do not believe it. I have a friend in Slovenia, and when they introduced the euro, prices went sky-high, as reported by the Associated Press.

Before adopting the Euro, a country must meet a set of economic conditions including low inflation, sound public finances, a stable exchange rate and limited borrowing costs.

It is a wonderful club to be a member of, but it requires commitment, dedication, and continued respect of the rules, and I know that we can expect no less from Croatia. Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank, said we are stronger together.