October 7 (SeeNews) - Bulgarian Finance Minister Simeon Dyankov said on Wednesday the issue of Bulgaria's entry in the two-year waiting room for the adoption of the euro will not be up for consideration before February next year at the earliest, local media reported.
Joining the pre-euro Exchange Rate Mechanism II (ERM II) will be considered only after all relevant countries have filed their convergence programmes which they are required to do by January 31, 2010 this time, later than the usual November 30 deadline, news daily Dnevnik (www.dnevnik.bg) reported, quoting Dyankov.
Dyankov had previously said Bulgaria will formally apply to join the ERM II in November 2009.
The submission deadline was pushed back due to the high deficits (exceeding 3.0% of gross domestic product) in the budgets of many EU member states, Dyankov said.
A further requirement is that Bulgaria have an enacted 2010 budget law.
The government in Sofia will aim for a balanced budget next year when it sees a 2.0% contraction of the economy.
Dyankov said the government has not decided to issue Eurobonds.
Earlier this week, Dow Jones Newswires carried an interview with Dyankov from the annual International Monetary Fund (IMF) summit in Istanbul in which the government official was quoted as saying: "Eurobonds are starting to look promising... we are seriously considering one in the spring."
Dyankov said in Istanbul he was just comparing the bonds as being a more appealing option versus a deal with the IMF.
Since July 1997 Bulgaria has been operating an IMF-prescribed currency board system, a tight monetary arrangement that ties the level of cash in circulation to the amount of central bank foreign exchange reserves. The fixed exchange rate of the Bulgarian lev under the system is 1.95583 per euro.