AS OF January 2014 Latvia will become the 18th member of the eurozone. Economy and finance ministers from the 28 European Union countries gave the final green light to Latvia on July 9 to join the eurozone on January 1, 2014.
“ECOFIN has made the final decision approving Latvia’s euro membership from 2014,” the EU’s current Lithuanian presidency announced as cited by the AFP newswire.
Euro notes and coins will be issued in Latvia on January 1, 2014, while the exchange rate was set at 0.702804 lats to €1.
When heading into the ECOFIN council’s meeting earlier in the day, Latvian Finance Minister Andris Vilks described it as a “symbolic day”. When asked whether he had any qualms about joining the single currency at such a difficult time, Vilks acknowledged that “those hard times will last several years, at least”.
Latvia emerged from a crisis in 2008-09 to become the EU’s fastest-growing economy, having posted GDP growth of more than 5 percent year-on-year in both 2011 and 2012.
15. Jul 2013 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff