- Published: 24.01.2023.
We entered Eurozone in good faith and for the good of everyone
Prime Minister Andrej Plenković stressed that the government entered the process of replacing the kuna with the euro in "good faith", so in this context it is important that all stakeholders in Croatian society behave responsibly and not use price rounding for "unreasonably large gains and profits ."
"Consumer protection is very important, because everything we do must reflect positively on our citizens. Therefore, it is important that in this entire process of replacing the kuna with the euro, all actors in Croatian society are responsible," Plenković said at the conference.
By becoming a member of the eurozone, Croatia has become part of an area of around 345 million inhabitants that use the second strongest world currency, Plenković said, recalling that the entire process of moving towards eurozone membership began in 2017.
He said that reforms were carried out on that road, stage by stage, and were carried out exactly according to schedule. "In my career, for the last 30 years, I have followed with more or less intensity all the processes of Croatia's membership in any international organisation or deeper integration, but I do not recall that we conducted any process so precisely, literally as planned," Plenković said.
There is also the entry into the Schengen area, and Plenković asserted that it will be possible to see "how much good we have done for the Croatian economy and citizens by achieving these two goals."
The prime minister emphasized the importance of political stability.
Central Bank governor Vujčić said that saying goodbye to the kuna was perhaps a more sentimental moment for him than for other citizens.
"The kuna banknotes bear my signature, and I dealt with the stability of the kuna and prices in kuna during most of my professional career, and because of that, I probably have the most reason to regret that the kuna has been left to history, but we introduced the euro for the benefit of Croatia and I have never doubted that this is the right path for Croatia," said Vujčić.
He also pointed out that the introduction of the euro opened a new chapter in the HNB's history , given that it became part of the Eurosystem this month, which means that it is now an active participant in defining the common monetary policy.
"Moreover, our voice in the Governing Council of the European Central Bank is disproportionate to the size of our country, and for the first time in history we are able to influence the financing conditions in the euro area and, consequently, in Croatia," Vujčić said.
Finance Minister Marko Primorac asserted that joining the eurozone will provide Croatia with numerous advantages and a more active role, both in the European Union and globally.
The Croatian economy will thus be further strengthened through stronger integration into the trade and financial flows of the EU, and among other things, the currency risk will be eliminated and Croatia will become more attractive to investors, while Croatian citizens and entrepreneurs will benefit concretely and directly from all of this, Primorac said.