The EC is expected to make an irresistible Eurozone offer
Adopting the euro is the only option for Bulgaria, Minister of Finance Vladislav Goranov said during a forum dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the Association of Commercial Banks in Bulgaria. “The current government, just like the previous ones, believes that after nearly 20 years of a currency board the natural next step is the Eurozone,” Goranov was adamant. He went on to add that it was not that simple and not just a matter of one-sided willingness, both sides should demonstrate the sentiment – the Eurozone and the country applying for membership. Under the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, Bulgaria has to become part of the currency union sooner or later, Goranov continued.
Domestic consumption is expected to continue to drive the economy over the next year as well
BGNES news agency
The latest macroeconomic data shows that Bulgaria’s economy is improving. According to the flash estimates of the National Statistical Institute (NSI) for the first quarter of 2017, the gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 3.4% compared to the same quarter of the previous year, and by 0.8% compared to the fourth quarter of 2016. GDP at current prices amounted to BGN 19.594bn, while gross value added in the first quarter of 2017 stood at BGN 16.803bn.
 
We will work to strengthen and further develop the trade and economic relations between Bulgaria and Italy, said Minister of Economy Emil Karanikolov during a meeting with H.E. Stefano Baldi (L), ambassador of Italy to Sofia.
 
In Brief
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Financial system is stable
 
The IMF Executive Board has discussed and approved the Financial System Stability Assessment of Bulgaria, a key part of the procedures related to the Financial Sector Assessment Programme in Bulgaria. It is the main document adopted by the IMF within the framework of that programme. Meanwhile, the World Bank is expected to approve its own assessment of Bulgaria’s financial sector very soon. The IMF conclusions confirm the resilience of the country’s financial system and the absence of direct risks to the public finances. The IMF notes the efforts made by Bulgarian institutions to ensure the macroeconomic and fiscal stability as well as the progress of financial sector reforms.

Record amount of heroin worth BGN 63m seized
 
The largest quantity of drugs ever seized in a single motor vehicle by Bulgarian authorities was discovered by Customs officers at the Vidin border checkpoint at 5.30am on 20 May. Some 423.222kg of heroin at an estimated value of BGN 63.483 million were found in a lorry with a Sofia licence plate, hidden between terracotta tiles glued together with silicone. The heroin is of extremely pure quality of nearly 70% active substance. The investigation revealed that the terracotta tiles were imported into the country on 17 May in a tractor unit with Iranian registration, driven by an Iranian citizen. The drugs were then moved to a Bulgarian trailer in a storage facility in Sofia and headed to the Netherlands with a Bulgarian driver. The idea was to conceal the connection to Iran, which is considered a high-risk country.

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