Fabian Demicoli

Latvia formally asks to join the euro from 2014


Latvia
has formally asked to join the euro from 1 January 2014. On 5 March, the
country formally asked the Commission to deliver an extraordinary convergence
report that will assess whether the country has achieved the five convergence
criteria for joining the euro that are defined in the Maastricht Treaty.
The
criteria include a qualitative assessment of the structural sustainability of
public finances in Latvia. Thanks to determined implementation of the financial
assistance programme led by the EU and the International Monetary Fund (IMF),
Latvia has managed to steer its way clear of the very deep recession it had in
2008 and 2009. The country now has the fastest rate of GDP growth and the
second highest rate of export growth in the EU, and a steadily falling
unemployment rate. In line with Treaty requirements, the Commission and the
European Central Bank (ECB) will independently assess Latvia's readiness to
join the euro area. The conclusions will be presented by early June.

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