Latvia lagging behind in euro preparedness

  • 2005-11-09
  • Baltic News Service
VILNIUS - Though there is less than a year to go before deciding whether to accept EU newcomers into the euro zone, Lithuania, Estonia, Slovakia and Slovenia have achieved the greatest progress in making practical preparations to introduce the single EU currency.

However, Estonia and Lithuania, which want to introduce the euro at the start of 2007, have to accelerate preparations and to address unease among the population, the European Commission said in its second report on introducing the euro in new member states.

Many people fear that introduction of the euro might lead to an increase in prices, a fear that is warranted based on Europe's own experience during the switchover that took place in the beginning of 2001.

The report overviewed only practical preparedness for euro-introduction and makes no assumptions whether any one of the 10 new members will satisfy the Maastricht convergence criteria.