VILNIUS - Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas has dismissed forecasts by financial analysts and experts that soaring consumer prices will prevent Lithuania from adopting the euro in 2010.
"We said that inflation would be at the level it is now. If we manage to balance the budget, I believe that we'll succeed in bringing down inflation," Kirkilas said in an interview with Lithuanian Radio on Sept. 25.
"We do not need to make new projections ahead of time, because they are groundless. In economics, there are many social-economic moments. So, in my opinion, we do not need such premature comments," he said.
The prime minister said that a key instrument available to the government is balancing the budget.
Parliament is currently debating a law on fiscal discipline that aims to reduce the budget deficit to 0.5 percent in 2008 and achieve a balanced budget in 2009.
Lithuania wanted to introduce the euro in 2007 but was refused entry on the grounds that its inflation rate was above the Maastricht limit.
The government maintains that there are favorable conditions for euro introduction in the country in 2010, but many experts doubt that view since annual inflation is forecast to rise as high as 5 percent in September, up from 4.6 percent in August.