Bulgaria gets OK for ‘evro’

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Bulgaria has the right to spell the common euro currency according to the rules of its Cyrillic alphabet, the European Commission said yesterday in a bid to ease a dispute before an EU summit this week. Sofia wants to use the Bulgarian name «evro» for the currency despite the European Central Bank’s insistence that the euro be spelled the same way across the 27-nation bloc. «Bulgaria has a specific alphabet and obviously has the right to spell the euro according to its own alphabet, its own grammar, its own pronunciation,» Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso told a news conference in Brussels. «It shouldn’t get in the way of the reform treaty,» he said of the row, adding he hoped the problem would be solved soon. EU leaders meet in Lisbon today and tomorrow for a summit hoped to approve a new treaty to replace the defunct EU constitution and ending a decade of wrangling over the bloc’s often unwieldy institutions. While the «evro» dispute should not hold up an accord in Lisbon, Sofia has threatened not to sign the treaty at a ceremony in December unless it gets satisfaction by then. Bulgaria joined the EU this year and is not expected to adopt the euro until well after 2010. It argues that «evro» is the correct transliteration of «euro» into Cyrillic. Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev planned to argue his country’s case by telephone to his Portuguese counterpart, who currently holds the EU presidency, according to Bulgarian officials.