Latvia government, people at odds over euro adoption (1)
Rahvusvahelised uudised 25 Jan 2013  EWR
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Latvia plans to ask EU officials to confirm the country’s course to adopt the euro in 2014, but ordinary citizens remain unsure, Deutsche Welle writes.

The Latvian government says it has met the requirements for accession to the euro zone, which include stabilizing the nation’s debt level after years of heavy borrowing led to a deep slump when the worldwide recession hit.

Neighboring Baltic states approve of Riga’s course. Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius says Latvian adoption of the euro is an ambitious and important step, the Lithuania Tribune writes.

Many Latvians view the move with skepticism and are reluctant to abandon the lat, a currency linked with the country’s independence from the Soviet Union. According to Deutsche Welle, only 30 percent of Latvians are eager to join the euro zone.

They may simply be misreading the situation, The Wall Street Journal wrote recently, noting that 90 percent of loans and 50 percent of bank deposits are already denominated in euros. “[E]essentially, [Latvia] has already joined the euro, just without formally doing so,” The Journal says.
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