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Lithuania to become next eurozone member after majority vote

  • 2014-07-16
  • From wire reports, VILNIUS

Lithuania will officially join the eurozone on January 1, 2015 after EU parliament members gave the country the green light today.

Lithuania will become the eurozone's 19th member after Latvia joined the eurozone earlier this year.

The European Parliament confirmed the position of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee on Lithuania's adoption of the euro with a large majority. A total of 545 MEPs voted in favor, 116 against.

"Lithuania fulfills all the criteria. The government and the national parliament have worked hard over the last years", said MEP Werner Langen, the European Parliament Rapporteur on Lithuania's adoption of the euro.

He added: "Lithuania's accession to the euro is a strong signal for a strong common currency which has successfully fought back the financial market crisis and speculative attacks. With 19 members, the eurozone comprises almost two thirds of EU Member States. This is indeed a clear sign of success."

Langen added that Europe was on the right track towards ensuring economic stability.

He said: "Lithuania has shown enormous effort since its unsuccessful first application in 2006. Now it is the third of the Baltic States to introduce the euro.

"Europe is on the right track with its enforced Stability and Growth Pact, the pre-emptive surveillance of the national budgets and the structural reforms in the member states. Welcome, Lithuania, to our forward-looking community of a common currency."