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January 3, 2014, 13:21

Latvia 18th Member State to adopt the euro

Latvia adopted the euro at midnight on New Years Eve – on the 15th anniversary of the euro's launch in 1999.


There are now 18 EU Member States and 333 million Europeans who share the same currency. This is a major achievement for Latvia and for the eurozone as a whole. Already on 1 January, Latvians started withdrawing euro notes and paying for their purchases in euros, thanks to thorough preparations for the introduction of the single currency.

European Commission President José Manuel Barroso said: "I am delighted to welcome Latvia as the eighteenth member of the euro area. This is a major event, not only for Latvia, but for the euro area itself, which remains stable, attractive and open to new members. For Latvia, it is the result of impressive efforts and the unwavering determination of the authorities and the Latvian people. Thanks to these efforts, undertaken in the aftermath of a deep economic crisis, Latvia will enter the euro area stronger than ever, sending an encouraging message to other countries undergoing a difficult economic adjustment. On behalf of the European Commission and myself, I offer my sincere congratulations to Latvia and best wishes for the future."

Press release from the European Commission