Bulgaria's finance minister, who was initially targeting rapid accession to the euro zone, has confirmed the country is in no hurry to adopt the single currency.
"We will not make any move toward the switchover in the next two years," Simeon Djankov told reporters in Vienna on Thursday.
The statement is in line with the opinion of local analysts, who have tried to tone down the cabinet's enthusiasm for adopting rapidly the common European currency, saying it makes more sense for the country to carefully fix the timing.
Before entering the currency bloc, Bulgaria would need to meet several criteria covering currency stability, public-sector debt, interest rates and inflation and secure approval from euro-zone heads of government and the European Central Bank president.
Bulgaria's finance ministry recently said the country has met the criteria, a view challenged by the European Central Bank.
Fiscal discipline is especially important for Bulgaria, as a large budget deficit may put pressure on the economy's currency board, which pegs the Bulgarian lev to the euro.
The currency board has been in place since an economic crisis in 1997 led to hyperinflation and the lev's collapse.