Lithuania pushing for euro switch

  • 2003-01-23

The head of the Bank of Lithuania, Reinoldijus Sar-kinas, said on Jan. 20 he saw no obstacles to Lithuania adopting the euro as its national currency in 2006 or early 2007.

"It is very possible that the replacement will occur in 2006 or in January 2007 at the latest," Sarkinas told reporters after a meeting with Arturas Paulauskas, speaker of Lith-uania's Parliament.

Sarkinas said that recent statements by the Latvian and Estonian prime ministers that their countries expected to join the European Exchange Rate Mechanism in 2004 and enter the euro zone in 2006 had prompted the Lithuanian central bank to revise its position.

The statements were issued after a meeting between the three Baltic prime ministers in Tallinn last week.

Following the talks in Tallinn, Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Brazauskas, Finance Minister Dalia Grybauskaite and the central bank governor discussed the possibility of replacing the litas with the euro at an earlier date, provided that the EU requirements are met.

"I see no obstacles to fulfilling the requirements during the two years," Sarkinas told reporters.