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PRESS RELEASE

Visit of the ECB President to the Republic of Bulgaria

27 February 2006

Jean-Claude Trichet, President of the European Central Bank, visited Bulgaria at the invitation of Mr. Ivailo Kalfin, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Ivan Iskrov, Governor of the Bulgarian National Bank. He delivered a lecture entitled Looking at EU and euro area enlargement from a central banker’s angle: the views of the ECB” organised by the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute.

President Trichet had a meeting with the Governor and the Governing Council of the Bulgarian National Bank. President Trichet and Governor Iskrov discussed the future cooperation between the ECB and the Bulgarian National Bank in the preparation for its membership in the European System of Central Banks upon Bulgaria’s accession to the European Union, and the plans of Bulgaria to accede to the euro area after Bulgaria’s accession to the European Union.

During his visit to Sofia, Jean-Claude Trichet met the President, Mr. Georgi Parvanov, the Prime Minister, Mr. Sergei Stanishev, and the Minister of Finance, Mr. Plamen Oresharski. The President of the ECB was informed about the recent economic developments in Bulgaria and the accelerated programme of the Government to meet EU requirements prior to EU accession.

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