Croatia is to start using the euro from January 2023 after completing the final legal steps on Tuesday in Brussels to adopt the European Union’s common currency.
Despite the “very strong challenges” of high inflation and dented economic growth, Croatian Finance Minister Zdravko Maric said he is pleased to see his country switch to the euro.
EU finance ministers were meeting in the Belgian capital to give the final sign-off on three legal acts to admit Croatia to the eurozone, the group of EU countries using the common currency.
Croatia’s entry comes with the backing of the European Commission and the European Central Bank (ECB) after the country met key convergence criteria and is the first new admission since Lithuania in 2015.
Countries joining the 27-member strong bloc are obliged to use the euro but require a low government deficit along with stable inflation and exchange rates between their national currencies and the euro.
Denmark, a member of the bloc prior to the 1992 signing of the European treaty that laid the foundation for the euro, is the only country that secured the right to keep its currency, the krone.
Croatia’s admission expands the euro area to 20 members but follows a fall in public support in the country, with people fearing price increases as a result.