RIGA - Latvia will have to continue pursuing stable economic and fiscal policies after joining the eurozone, European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said at a press conference after the European Union finance ministers’ meeting on July 9, where they agreed to bring Latvia into the eurozone starting Jan. 1, reports Nozare.lv.
“Those countries that take care of their sustainable economic development by avoiding excessive macroeconomic imbalances or unsustainable public finances, they do succeed and benefit from euro membership,” said Rehn.
Estonia’s experience of joining the eurozone shows that a country can benefit from the stability of the euro and attract larger direct investments. Joining the euro area means that Latvia will be a member of the political and economic core of Europe, explained Rehn.
From Jan. 1 next year, residents of Latvia will be able to pay for goods and services in euros, and lats will be exchanged according to the exchange rate that the EU finance ministers approved July 9, emphasized Rehn.
Latvia is being accepted into the eurozone thanks to its current economic policy and convincingly meeting the Maastricht criteria, added Rehn.
Rehn also said that Latvia was joining the eurozone, which has already been joined by Estonia, whereas Lithuania was planning to become a eurozone member in 2015.
The EU Economic and Financial Affairs Council adopted regulations setting a permanent conversion rate for the Latvian lats against the euro at 0.702804 Latvian lats to one euro.