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2021-11-29 13:58:38

Latvia "will be ready" for euro in 2014

By Anatol Steven. 02.11.2011

Finance minister: Latvia "ready" for euro by 2014

Latvia will be technically ready to achieve its long-term goal of adopting the euro by 2014, the country’s finance minister has said.
Andris Vilks, who stays on as minister following the recent change in government, told Latvian Radio that as long as inflation is held back Latvia should be able to reach the other Maastricht criteria to adopt Europe’s single currency by the target date.
“Speaking about the adoption of the euro, Latvia will be technically ready for it,” he said. “The only problem might be inflation. If Latvia's goal is to reach the euro, it can be postponed for a year or more, but do we want that? It’s better to try to find a solution and curb inflation.”
Economic scenarios for Latvia and Europe show that inflation pressures should decline, the minister added, as the world’s economies slow down, prices of goods and energy stop growing and consumption falls.
“I feel that we will technically meet the criteria, and we will be able to react if inflation grows,” he said, adding that in 2012 he didn’t expect inflation to exceed 3%.
However, Swedbank’s chief economist in Latvia, Dainis Stikuts, warned that the government’s ultimate goal need not necessarily be euro adoption. “The euro could be like a bonus, a proof of quality,” he explained. “But the Maastricht criteria should be met not only within a short period of time, but also over the long term.”

[image courtesy ECB]