A private radio station in Sofia broadcast an interview with a false International Monetary Fund (IMF) "representative", causing a scandal in Bulgaria, Novinite reads. Hugh Jason was introduced as IMF Developing Markets Department representative, but this department doesn't really exist. He talked about a radical measure: introducing the euro in parallel with the Bulgarian national currency, the leva.
Novinite reads that the interview tried to be a April Fool's Day farce, but he radio station did not mention this detail.
Hugh Jason told Darik radio reporters that "we believe it would be a good idea for Bulgaria to adopt the euro in parallel with the leva. It would not be too difficult, since Bulgaria has a stable exchange currently regime, set by the monetary council". The false IMF rep stated that adopting the euro will lead to a decrease in prices for commercial transactions and will reduce interest rates.
IMF representative for Romania and Bulgaria Tonny Lybek wrote in a communiqué later: "in a statement made today, a person called Hugh Jason has made several claims on Bulgaria's economy. I would like to say that this person is not an IMF representative. His statements ate a farce on April Fool's Day. We do not appreciate the incorrect of IMF's name".
In his turn, Bulgaria's National Bank issued a communiqué, qualifying as "unacceptable" the use of "dangerous jokes", which rely on "people's fears".
"This absurd idea uses incorrectly and glaringly the name of an extremely influential global institution, like the International Monetary Fund, whose authority has a direct impact on the world's financial markets", the Bulgarian National Bank's communiqué reads.