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RIGA - Lats banknotes worth nearly LVL 1.7 million (EUR 2.4 million) were exchanged for euros at the Bank of Latvia last year, the Latvian central bank’s spokesman Janis Silakalns told LETA.
Janis Silakalns said that 96 percent of lats banknotes worth LVL 938 million (EUR 1.335 billion) and 39 percent of lats coins, worth LVL 28 million (EUR 40 million) were exchanged for euros by the end of 2018. A total of 147 million coins and 47 million banknotes have been withdrawn from circulation.
At the end of last year, 341.8 million lats coins weighing 785 tons still had not been exchanged for euros. Most of the lats coins not yet exchanged are of the smallest denominations – one-santims coins and two-santims coins, altogether 240 million coins. The number of the remaining one-lats coins is 24.1 million, including special design coins.
Most of the lats banknotes that had not yet been exchanged are five-lats banknotes (1.7 million banknotes) and 20-lats banknotes (820,000 banknotes).
Latvia joined the euro area on January 1, 2014, becoming its 18th member.