Latvia Becomes 18th Country to Adopt the Euro
Latvia has become the eighteenth country to adopt the single currency, three years after another Baltic state – Estonia – joined the eurozone.
Acting Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis withdrew the first euro note from a bank machine in a ceremony in Riga after Latvian TV showed pre-recorded greetings from European leaders welcoming his country to the eurozone.
"It's a big opportunity for Latvia's economic development becoming a member of the world's second biggest currency," Dombrovskis said.
"Joining the euro marks the completion of Latvia's journey back to the political and economic heart of our continent, and that is something for all of us to celebrate," said Olli Rehn, the EU commissioner in charge of economic and monetary affairs.
Estonia joined the eurozone in 2011 and Lithuania aims to become a member in 2015.
Latvians however remain sharply divided in their sentiments about adopting the euro, many viewing giving up the lat as loss of independence.
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