Lithuania one step closer to euro

  • 2005-03-02
  • From wire reports
VILNIUS - The European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, Joaquim Almunia, has said that the Lithuanian economy currently meets all Maastricht convergence criteria.

"If a decision were to be made today, the EU member states would decide that Lithuania complies with all the Maastricht criteria. Inflation, interest rates, deficit and public debt are below the Maastricht targets," Almunia said.

He emphasized, however, that a decision on the Baltic state's adoption of the euro would not be made until June 2006, at the earliest.

On the other hand, the EU commissioner pointed out that there was some concern about Lithuania's inflation and fiscal deficit levels.

Lithuania joined the Exchange Rate Mechanism on June 28, 2004, and expects to adopt the euro on Jan. 1, 2007.

Almunia took part in a conference called "Lithuania's Path to the Euro: Challenges and Opportunities" in Vilnius on Feb. 24.

He also met with President Valdas Adamkus, Prime Minister Algirdas Brazauskas, Bank of Lithuania Governor Reinoldijus Sarkinas and Economy Minister Viktor Uspaskich.