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Croatia enters eurozone, Schengen area

Clients wait in line to withdraw cash at a bank in the center of Zagreb on Dec 30, 2022, as the euro becomes Croatia's official currency on Jan 1, 2023. (DENIS LOVROVIC / AFP)

ZAGREB – Croatia entered the eurozone and the European Union's (EU) border-free Schengen area on New Year's Day.

This was the first time a European country joined both the eurozone and the Schengen area on the same day, an important milestone for Croatia, an EU member since 2013.

On Jan 1, Croatia became the 20th member of the eurozone and the euro becomes its official currency

On Jan 1, Croatia became the 20th member of the eurozone and the euro becomes its official currency. On the same date, it also became the 27th member of the Schengen area, which was created in 1985 to allow free movement for all 420 million nationals of the signatory countries.

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To help people adjust to the use of the euro, as of Jan 1, the dual circulation of Croatia's currency kuna and euro will last two weeks. After 12:00 midnight on Jan 14, only euros will be used. However, banks and post offices will continue to convert kuna into euro throughout 2023.