A decade after joining the European Union, Croatia Joins the Eurozone by finally adopting the euro currency and entering Europe’s passport-free Schengen zone; the Balkan nation bid farewell to its kuna currency and become the 20th member of the eurozone. The passport-free Schengen Zone enables more than 400 million people to move freely around its member nations.
Croatia Joins Eurozone: People Seem Skeptical About the Switch
On 1st January, the Croatian government announced that the checks on internal land, sea and rail borders between Croatia and the other countries in the Schengen area would be lifted. “Last step completed! Council decision adopted – It is now formally confirmed that #Croatia joins #Schengen area as of 1 January 2023,” reads the tweet.
— Croatia in the EU (@CroatiaInEU) December 8, 2022
The Croatian people are happy about ending the border controls, but at the same time, they have mixed feelings about the currency switch as the right-wing groups claimed that it would only benefit the big countries such as Germany and France. A 63-year-old pensioner from Croatia’s capital, Zagreb, said; “We will cry for our kuna, prices will soar.” Ana Sabic of the Croatian National Bank (HNB) told; “The euro certainly brings [economic] stability and safety.”
Croatia’s Entry to Boost Tourism
The entry of Croatia into the Schengen zone is expected to boost its tourism industry, which accounts for 20% of its GDP and welcomes millions of visitors each year. However, the border checks will end only on 26th March at airports due to technical issues. Experts believe that switching to the European currency should help shield Croatia’s economy at a time of inflation across the globe.