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Latvia Joins the Eurozone
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One of the least densely populated countries of the European Union; Latvia is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. There celebrations in the capital Riga after midnight. The sky bright with fireworks, the Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis, after symbolically withdrawing a 10-euro note, stated that “It’s a big opportunity for Latvia’s economic development.”

Latvia has started the New Year by joining the Eurozone and by becoming the 18th member of the group of EU states which uses the euro as its currency. The euro is the second largest reserve currency as well as the second most traded currency in the world after the United States dollar. The government and most business owners welcomed the new single currency, saying it would improve Latvia’s credit rating and attract foreign business. Opinion polls, however suggested almost 60% of the population did not favor the new currency.

  
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Latvia joins Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain. The currency is also used in a further five European countries and used daily by some 334 million Europeans as of 2013. All nations that have joined the EU since 1993 have pledged to adopt the euro in due course. The euro has the highest combined value of banknotes and coins in circulation in the world, having surpassed the U.S. dollar.

Image Credit: www.bbc.co.uk.com

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