OREANDA-NEWS. June 11, 2013. “The positive assessment of the European Commission and the European Central Bank is the recognition of changes made to the Latvian economy, which have been implemented largely thanks to the Latvian entrepreneurs, citizens and society as a whole.

It provides an opportunity for Latvia to make the next step and join the single European currency”, says Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis, assessing the Convergence Reports of the EC and the ECB, which were released today, and which conclude that the economy of Latvia meets all the Maastricht criteria and is ready to join the euro area.

“Nine years after Latvia’s accession to the European Union, our economy has stabilized and reached a healthy structure. To ensure further development, we need a stable, internationally reliable currency. The accession of Latvia to the euro area will be a sound additional impetus for economic growth of our country that will enable the improvement of well-being and living standards of citizens,” says V.Dombrovskis.

“Public support for this step is an important factor that we follow closely, and we also appreciate the public support for the introduction of the euro that we have received so far. I am pleased that the most important social and cooperation partners of the government – the Employers’ Confederation of Latvia (LDDK), the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and the Free Trade Union Confederation of Latvia (FTUCL), as well as many NGOs have expressed their support for the introduction of the euro. More than two-thirds of entrepreneurs recognize correctness of this step.

The public support is gradually increasing; however, a qualitative dialogue with the society is still very important, communicating the pragmatic issues associated with the introduction of the euro, and ensuring the maximum support during the euro changeover process,” confirms the Head of the Government of Latvia.

On June 20-21, the meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) will be held, during which the Member States’ Ministers for Finance will discuss the EC and the ECB, and adopt the recommendation on inviting Latvia to join the euro area. On June 28-29, this issue will be considered at the European Council meeting, with the participation of countries’ leaders, while the final decision is expected on July 9 at the ECOFIN meeting, with the participation of the Minister for Finance of Latvia.

On March 4, 2013, the government of Latvia approached the EC and the ECB with the request to assess the country’s readiness to join the euro area. The reports, which were released today present a detailed assessment of the economic development prospects and risks in Latvia, concluding that high and sustainable convergence level has been achieved that allows Latvia to introduce the euro on January 1, 2014.