(Bloomberg) -- Croatia’s central bank Governor Boris Vujcic said allegations of insider-trading by him, dating back two decades and unearthed this month, seek to sabotage the Balkan country’s plans to adopt the euro.

“The intention of this affair is to hurt euro adoption prospects, but it won’t succeed,” Vujcic told broadcaster RTL TV in an interview Sunday. “Such accusations, without proof, undermine the credibility of our institution. Let’s not take such bait.”

The comments come after Croat market watchdog, Hanfa, last week started a probe into possible illegal deals made by top central bank officials, including Vujcic and Deputy Governor Sandra Svaljek. Both rejected any wrongdoing and confirmed they owned various bank stocks and bonds at a time that Croat monetary officials were allowed to make such investments.

The investigation followed reports by Zagreb-based portal Index.hr and calls by opposition leaders for Vujcic and Svaljek to resign. Within months, euro members are due to make their final decision on whether to allow Croatia to become the second ex-Yugoslav country after Slovenia to be part of the bloc’s single-currency region.

Croat central bank officials and their families were allowed to own shares in banks before 2001, when the national bank’s council -- which included Vujcic -- forbid such deals. 

Index.hr reported of some 400 transactions of securities owned by central bank employees over the past two decades, involving more than 40 people and totaling 10 million kuna ($1.5 million).

“If any central bank employee is proved to have engaged in insider trading, that person will be fired instantly. But at the moment there are no indications that anything like that has happened,” Vujcic said.

Croatia plans to switch its currency for the euro on Jan. 1, 2023.

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.