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Croatia switches to euro, enters passport-free Schengen zone

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Croatia switches to euro, enters passport-free Schengen zone

Zagreb, Jan 1 (Prensa Latina) Croatia on Sunday has officially adopted the euro as its new official currency, becoming the 20th European Union member state to do so.

Plus, Croatia formally joined the Schengen zone – a large region permitting open transport across EU countries and Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, where around 400 million inhabitants move without border controls.

As a consequence, a total of 73 border crossing checkpoints stopped operations in Sunday´s early hours. In the case of airports, controls will end on March 26 for technical reasons.

Croatia´s Schengen zone inclusion will also strengthen its tourism sector that during the last year received a number of holidaymakers four times higher than its population of nearly four million inhabitants.

In view of the new reality, there are fears the new official currency (euro) in Croatia will bring out skyward prices, even more so after November´s reports of 13.5% inflation, higher than the 10% average for the euro zone.

Regarding these concerns, Ana Babic, Croatian Central Bank official, told the press that all society will benefit from the euro thanks to lower exchange rate risk and better lending conditions.

Croatia´s EU and passport-Schengen zone inclusions mean “two strategic objectives for further integration in the EU”, the conservative Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic praised.

To celebrate these new inclusions, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen traveled on Sunday to Croatia.

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