For travellers trekking across Europe, the euro is, more than anything, a thing of convenience. Nineteen countries in the European Union use just one currency, which makes exchanging cash, paying for stuff and generally doing pretty much anything at all so much easier.
And soon yet another country will be embracing the big €. Croatia will be joining the Eurozone (the official name for countries that use the Euro) on January 1 2023. Ditching its current currency – the kuna – it’ll be the twentieth country to join the monetary union. (The nineteenth was Lithuania in 2015.)
In order to join the euro, a country usually has to fulfil certain economic and legal criteria. Those range from low rates of inflation and a stable exchange rate to low levels of government debt. Not only has Croatia met all those criteria, but the country has even already had its own special coin designs approved. Pretty cool, eh?
When Croatia joins the Eurozone, it can expect to benefit from closer financial ties with the rest of Europe and greater currency stability. For the rest of us, it’ll mean not having to grapple with an unfamiliar currency when we dash off for a trip to one of Croatia’s mesmerising ancient settlements, glorious sandy beaches or sun-drenched Adriatic islands.
Once Croatia has embraced the euro, there will only be seven EU countries left that don’t use the central currency. Those are Bulgaria (which has the lev), Czech Republic (koruna), Denmark (krone), Sweden (krona), Hungary (forint), Poland (złoty) and Romania (leu). Out of those, Bulgaria hopes to use the Euro by 2024 and Romania by 2029.
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