ECONOMY FINANCE&BANKING

First meeting of the inter-ministerial committee for the adoption of the euro. Isarescu: Adoption of the euro sustainable only if we focus on lowering development gaps between Romania’s regions

The members of the inter-ministerial committee for the adoption of the euro decided on Monday, in their first meeting, to continue their analysis of the measures needed to ensure the adoption of the single currency, considering the economic preparedness to do so. In this sense, National Bank of Romania (BNR) Governor Mugur Isarescu stated that the adoption of the euro would be sustainable only if there is a focus on lowering the development disparities between Romania’s regions, namely infrastructure and income.

The Government informs that Romania maintains its commitment to adopt the euro and is making efforts to rigorously prepare this process, so that the switch to the single currency would be done at the appropriate moment.

“Our task is double. On one hand, we must make sure that this switch is as smooth as possible for citizens. On the other hand, we must make sure that this monetary convergence is done in parallel with a balanced development of the country’s regions and with a convergence of Romanian citizens’ incomes, so that they would be comparable to those in other member states of the European Union,” Premier Sorin Grindeanu stated.

In his turn, BNR Governor Mugur Isarescu emphasised that the process of adopting the euro currency must be approached in a manner characterised by “prudence, responsibility and profoundness.”

“We must focus on reducing the development gaps between Romania’s regions, meaning infrastructure, income, GDP per capita. Only in this way will the adoption of the euro currency be sustainable,” Isarescu pointed out, being quoted in a Government press release.

Likewise, Finance Minister Viorel Stefan pointed out that Romania meets all nominal convergence criteria, in line with the Maastricht Treaty, except for involvement in the Exchange Rate Mechanism II (ERM II).

“However, real convergence is the most important, expressed through purchasing power and the reduction of regional disparities,” the Finance Minister said.

Thus, the reunion established the continuation of the analysis of measures needed to ensure the adoption of the euro currency, taking into account economic and financial preparedness to do so but also the impact and the population’s degree of socio-cultural acceptance.

The Government and the BNR will collaborate for the continuation of this analysis, on whose basis a timetable will be created for the implementation of measures needed for preparing the adoption of the single currency.

The members of the committee also discussed the way in which the current European context – the debates on the future of the Union and the triggering of the United Kingdom’s exit procedures – are influencing the Euro Area accession process. Another important element borne in mind as part of preparing the switch to the euro currency is Romania’s takeover of the EU Council’s presidency in the first semester of 2019.

The inter-ministerial committee for the adoption of the euro brings together the representatives of the main institutions that will be involved in the process: National Bank of Romania, General Secretariat of the Government, Finance Ministry, Economy Ministry, Regional Development Ministry, Public Administration and European Grants Ministry, Ministry for Public Consultation and Social Dialogue, Foreign Affairs Ministry, Energy Ministry, Labour Ministry, Education Ministry, National Statistics Institute, National Forecast Commission, Competition Council.

The meeting was chaired by Premier Sorin Grindeanu, while BNR Governor Mugur Isarescu and Finance Minister Viorel Stefan took part in the meeting as deputy chairmen of the committee.

 

Grindeanu: Switch to euro can be made only after Romanians’ incomes are comparable to those in other EU states

 

Premier Sorin Grindeanu stated on Monday, at Victoria Palace, at the start of the first meeting of the inter-ministerial committee for the adoption of the euro currency, a meeting attended by BNR Governor Mugur Isarescu too, that the monetary convergence can be made “only after the incomes of Romanian citizens are comparable to those in other member states of the EU.”

“We all know, at the level of the European Union there are all kinds of debates on the future of the European construct. We believe these debates must be seen as an opportunity, not as an obstacle, and from the talks about a multi-speed Europe, now, after the summit in Rome, we reached a discussion about a Europe with several rhythms, but these rhythms should not differentiate between us but should instead show that we are all heading in the same direction. I believe our meeting today has this purpose too,” Premier Sorin Grindeanu stated.

The Head of Government emphasised that Romania must prove it is determined to continue backing the cohesion policies within the European Union and to show we have the same goal, namely a stronger Union, a Union in which member states have the same target.

Grindeanu pointed out that Romania must make sure that this monetary convergence is made in parallel with the convergence of Romanians’ incomes, pointing out that the switch to the common currency can be made only after the Romanian citizens’ incomes are comparable to those in other member states.

“We believe our task is double, that of seeing how we can make this switch to the euro currency as smooth as possible for the citizens. Here we must learn from the experiences of countries that already adopted the euro while starting off from a position similar to our country’s. Of course, we are talking about a major change that, naturally, is meeting some resistance, some reticence toward change, but that is precisely why we are here today and we will be here in the future, to prepare this process as rigorously as possible. The other dimension of our task is to make sure this monetary convergence is done in parallel with income convergence. The switch to the euro can be made, we believe, only after the Romanian citizens’ incomes are comparable to those in other member states of the EU,” Grindeanu explained.

 

 

 

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