From Prosperity to Depression: Bulgaria and Romania (1996/97 – 2010)
Bulgaria and Romania are neighbouring countries, which have always been rivals. Following the decision on EU enlargement to include Bulgaria and Romania (late 1999) and with membership negotiations already started (2004), the race between the two countries gained momentum and comparisons of performances in the areas of economy and democracy became a regular practice. Around late 1990s the two countries took different trajectories, although in the direction of EU and market economy. The great divergence is lying primarily in the choice of monetary regime. While Romania continued to pursue and enhance its discretionary monetary policy and since 2005 has moved to inflation targeting, Bulgaria made an abrupt turn in mid-1997 and introduced a currency board arrangement.
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