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Bulgaria could adopt the euro from 2025 if ready -EU's Dombrovskis

FILE PHOTO: Euro sign is seen in Frankfurt

SOFIA (Reuters) -Bulgaria could join the euro zone from January 2025 if it meets all entry criteria, the European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis said on Thursday.

Bulgaria last week scrapped its target to adopt the euro in January 2024 as it fails to meet the inflation criteria and has not adopted some legal changes.

"The date is when all the Maastricht criteria are met," Dombrovskis told private TV channel Nova. "Maybe January 1, 2025 would be one possible date."

Bulgaria, the European Union's poorest member state, has said it could aim to adopt the currency already from mid-2024.

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Dombrovskis, who is on a two-day visit to Sofia, said countries have usually been joining from the start of a year, which was also more practical.

He said high inflation, fuelled mainly due to high energy costs, meant Sofia should delay its initial target date.

With prices soaring in central and eastern Europe, Bulgaria's EU-harmonised inflation jumped to 14.3% year-on-year at the end of 2022, the eighth-highest rate in the bloc.

Dombrovskis said the country, which is holding its fifth election in two years in April, should adopt all necessary legislation needed for euro zone entry, including anti-money laundering laws.

(Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)