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Latvia to join eurozone "de iure" in summer 2013

Alla Petrova, BC, Riga, 08.05.2012.Print version
Latvia should join the euro area "de iure" in summer 2013, the euro project head Dace Kalsone says in an interview with the Nozare.lv business portal. Latvia's adherence to the Maastricht criteria will be evaluated in April 2013.

There is a specific methodology for the evaluation of each Maastricht criterion – inflation in Latvia will be measured for the time period from this April to next March, as will be the long-term interest rate. Budget deficit and government debt will be assessed according to the actual data for 2012 and medium-term forecasts, writes LETA.

 

In April next year, European Commission and European Central Bank will evaluate Latvian economy's convergence. The convergence report will be analyzed by May, and if the assessment is positive, the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) in June will invite Latvia to join the eurozone. After the ECOFIN's invitation, the European Council will make a political decision on inviting Latvia to join the euro area, also in June. Whereas in July, the ECOFIN will take the final decision to invite Latvia to become a member of the eurozone, and also set the lat/euro exchange rate. After the European Parliament's June decision, Latvia will be allowed to "de iure" join the euro area.

 

Kalsone added that it was very unlikely that the Bank of Latvia's current lat/euro exchange rate, LVL 0.702804 per euro, could be altered.

 

Kalsone previously said that Latvia's move toward the introduction of the euro in 2014 was steady. Only one of the four Maastricht criteria is usually discussed in Latvia – inflation. Latvia already conforms to the other criteria – long-term interest rates, annual government deficit and government debt, she said.

 

Kalsone said that the impact of potential energy resource price increases on annual inflation could not be ruled out. As long as the increasing oil prices affect only fuel prices, there is no reason to worry about the fulfillment of Maastricht criterion, since the same is happening in those countries that will determine the criterion.

 

As reported, Kalsone took up the job of of Latvia's euro introduction project manager on March 12.

 

Kalsone has a doctor's degree in economy and a master's degree in business management from the University of Latvia, as well as a master's degree in law from the Riga Graduate School of Law.

 

Before her appointment as the euro project's head, Kalsone was working as an analyst at the Bank of Latvia from 1997.

 

Kalsone was selected from 13 candidates by a special Finance Ministry's commission set up to evaluate the candidates, headed by the ministry's state secretary Sanita Bajare.






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